IED found near Maguindanao municipal hall

By Jasper Acosta, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao

Posted at May 10 2014 04:43 PM | Updated as of May 11 2014 12:43 AM

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao - A bomb attack was foiled by authorities in the town of Shariff Aguak in Maguindanao after an improvised explosive device (IED) was successfully disrupted by the Army's explosive ordnance disposal team Friday evening.

The IED was made out of a hand grenade and 2 rounds of rpg (rocket propelled grenade) attached to a 9-volt battery and 2 kilograms of 3-inch nails.

It was placed in a carton box beside the waiting shed located outside the gate of the municipal hall of Shariff Aguak.

First Mechanized Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Gener del Rosario told ABS-CBN news team that a concerned citizen reported to them that unidentified motorcycle-riding men left the suspicious item beside the waiting shed.

"Tatlo ang nakikita nating motibo sa paglalagay ng bomb na ito. Number 1 is ang police ang target dahil malapit ito sa police outpost. Pangalawa, maaaring sundalo ang target dahil maraming sundalo ang dumadaan sa lugar. At pangatlo, maaari ang mayor ng ShariffAaguak ang puntirya ng bomba dahil dito siya dumadaan kapag pumapasok sa trabaho," del Rosario said.

Authorities have yet to identify the suspect, but the First Mechanized Infantry Brigade suspects this could be related to the series of atrocities being done by the renegade members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Last Thursday, the military outpost of the Army's 45th Infantry Battalion in Shariff Aguak was attacked by the BIFF.

Two unexploded ammunition of a rifle grenade were found outside the military camp.

Meanwhile, Shariff Aguak Mayor Bai Zahara Ampatuan condemned the attempted bomb attack in the town.

She called on residents to be vigilant and immediately report to authorities any unattended items to prevent bomb explosions.

"Kung sino man ang naglagay ng bomba, sana po ay tigilan niyo na ang panggugulo sa bayan ng Shariff Aguak dahil ginagawa na po natin ang lahat upang mapanatili ang kapayapaan hindi lamang dito sa bayan na ito kundi maging sa buong Maguindanao. Kaya sana huwag niyo na po sirain ang gumagandang peace and order natin," Ampatuan said.

The Army's First Mechanized Infantry Battalion appealed to the public to call or text their hotline number 0917-706-2150 and 0947-893-2231 for any assistance.