(UPDATE) Abus bomb another bridge in Sulu

By David Santos, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga

Posted at Oct 17 2009 09:19 AM | Updated as of Oct 17 2009 10:55 PM

Lawless groups bombed another bridge in Sulu early Saturday dawn, in what appears to be a strategy of the Abu Sayyaf bandit group to hinder pursuing government troops, said the military.

According to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), a loud explosion awakened residents of Talipao town in the southern part of Sulu Island around 3 a.m. Saturday.

Authorities would later trace the blast site to be at Lagtoh Bridge. One of the bridge's lanes was reportedly destroyed.

There were no reports of casualties during the incident.

The military report said that Lagtoh Bridge remains passable but only for light vehicles. It did not indicate what type of explosive was used in the attack.

No one has claimed responsibility in the explosion but the AFP was quick to blame it on Al Qaeda linked-Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

Maj. Gen. Ben Mohammad Dolorfino, AFP Western Mindanao Command chief, said the ASG’s possible intention was to ambush Marine troops crossing the bridge by initially hampering their movements and then launching a subsequent offensive.

Dolorfino explained that the Abu Sayyaf’s ammunition supply could be running low and the bandit group may have shifted to the use of improvised explosive devices as a means to inflict casualties on government soldiers who have been sustaining their pursuit operations.

Sulu has been hit with of a string of bomb attacks for the past few weeks, targeting a number of infrastructure including bridges and a telecommunications tower.

Late last month, two American servicemen and a soldier of the Philippine Marines were killed in a landmine explosion in Indanan town.

The bridge was the third bombed by suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits on the island. The military had also accused the bandits of bombing 2 bridges in Indanan town, which were frequently used by the military in anti-Abu Sayyaf patrols. With a report from Noel Alamar, radio dzMM