ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 01 November) — The Joint Task Force Sulu foiled a bombing attempt in Timbangan, Indinan, Sulu after a concerned citizen reported to the military an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) found along the roadside.
In a press statement, JTF Sulu said the IED, concealed by coconut leaves when found at around 4 p.m. on Friday was believed to be the handiwork of Abu Sayyaf Group leader Mundi Sawadjaan who allegedly was behind the Jolo Cathedral bombing in 2019.
Colonel Antonio Bautista, commander of the 1101st Infantry Brigade and Lt. Col. Alex Gagula, chief of the 100 Infantry Battalion, went to Timbangan village and supervised the Explosive Ordnance and Disposal unit of JTF Sulu in the disposal of the IED on site.
JTF Sulu said the IED, concealed by coconut leaves, was composed of a mortar cartridge, 90 Recoilless Rifle projectile heat, five liters of Ammonium-Nitrate/Fuel-oil, battery and an improvised blasting cap, was placed near a barangay road “which could have hurt and kill innocent civilians within 20-meter radius if detonated.”
The press statement quoted Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of the 11th Infantry Division and JTF Sulu, as saying that the Abu Sayyaf Group is “obviously frustrated by the series of their losses that they resort to the most hideous form of violent extremism – bombing. They want to instill fear and terror but the bravery and courage of our troops is unsurpassable.”
JTF Sulu said a suspected suicide bomber identified as Rezky Fantasya @Cici Rullieb was apprehended dawn of October 10 with two other female suspects in Jolo, Sulu identified as Inda Nurhaina, wife of ASG sub-leader Ben Tatoo and Fatima Sandra Jimlani , wife of Jahid Jam also an ASG member. They were apprehended by virtue of a Search Warrant issued by the Regional Trial Court of Jolo through the combined forces of the JTF Sulu with local and national law enforcement agencies. (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)