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Army blames BIFF on Maguindanao roadside bombings

Local News • 16:33 PM Thu Feb 18, 2016
Ferdinandh Cabrera
Four persons were killed in this vehicle when an improvised bomb went off Tuesday night, Feb. 16, 2016) in Barangay Lower Salbu, Datu Saudi, Maguindanao. (FC)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao -– The military here has blamed outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) for the series of bomb attacks in Maguidnanao, this time, targeting not only military combatants but civilians.
The latest attempt of the BIFF was to set off improvised bomb along a highway in Gindulungan town in Maguindanao that provided discomfort to motorists, including this journalist because the highway has to be shut down while experts were checking on the explosive.An alert infantryman noticed what he suspected at first glance to be an improvised bomb at a roadside.Army bomb experts quickly responded and confirmed it was a bomb, according to Colonel Feliciano Budiongan, 601st Army brigade commander.
The BIFF was targeting military and non combatants alike,” he said of the IED found in Guindulungan town where a team of soldiers had just passed by.Almost at the same time, an IED went off in Barangay Crossing Taviran, about 800 meters away from an Army battalion headquarters. Nobody was hurt.
Luckily, no civilian passersby were hurt,” Budiongan said.
The IED, according to Budiongan, was made of black powder, empty shells of ammunition, electrical wiring and spark plugs for motorcycles. It also contained cut concrete nails as shrapnel.
Budiongan said the groyup of BIFF commander Abu Nasria was behind the series of bombings on Maguindanao roads, apparently to divert Army attention from Datu Salibo, Maguindanao.
Army and BIFF have been trading bullets and mortars in Datu Salibo, a marshland town in Maguindanao since Feb. 5 after the lawless group harassed a government dredging project in town.
But BIFF spokesperson Abu Misri Mama quickly denied his group was behind roadside bombings, including the one in Datu Saudi Ampatuan that left a town treasurer and three others.
At about the same time, soldiers had their attention focused on a nipa house in Barangay Salbu, Datu Saudi Ampatuan town. Soldiers suspect it was a secondary bomb that the BIFF could set off, similar to the same month last 2014.
That incident in 2014 left military personnel and workers of a national TV network.
Budiongan said the area is bomb prone due to lack of lighting at night and isolated at day time.
As of posting, tension remained high in Datu Salibo and Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Maguindanao. (Ferdinandh Cabrera)

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