2 soldiers hurt in North Cotabato explosion

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/30 August)—An improvised bomb allegedly planted by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) exploded in Barangay Nabalawag, Midsayap, North Cotabato at around 7 a.m. Friday, wounding two soldiers, military officials said.

Captain Tony Bulao, 602nd Infantry Brigade spokesperson, identified the victims only as Staff Sergeant Ubogan and Sergeant Sapon, who belong to the Charlie Company of the Army’s 40th Infantry Battalion (IB).

The soldiers were on their way to fetch water when the bomb exploded some 200 meters away from the headquarters of the Charlie Company, he said.

Lt. Col. Bon Huet, 40th IB commander, blamed the explosion to the BIFF, a breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“Maybe they got mad at us because of our persistent efforts to prevent them from penetrating and targeting populated areas, that’s why they attacked our men,” he said.

An improvised 60-mm mortar shell triggered by a cellular phone was used in the attack, the military said.

The wounded soldiers were brought to the Camp Siongco hospital and are now in stable condition.

Abu Misry Mama, BIFF spokesperson, earlier said they will continue attacking military detachments in pursuit of their fight for Bangsamoro independence.

Meanwhile, a grenade exploded at around 2 a.m. Friday near the house of Anwar Lucas, barangay captain of Rosary Heights 10. His house is located at the back of the city hall here.

He said the explosion shattered their bedroom’s glass window.

Lucas ruled out politics in the grenade attack and believed that robbers and drug runners were behind it, citing their drive against criminal activities in the area. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)