MAGUINDANAO - Three police officers were wounded in an explosion in Sitio Paso, Barangay Manongkaling, Mamasapano Tuesday morning.
The victims were identified as PO3 Harim g Ampatuan, PO3 Ali i Malok and PO1 Norudin de Olympain, all assigned at the Philippine National Police in Rajah Buayan.
Authorities said the victims were onboard a patrol vehicle from Rajah Buayan station going to the PNP's Provincial Headquarters in Shariff Aguak to attend a conference when an improvised explosive device went off at 10:15 a.m.
Senior Superintendent Agustin Tello, Maguindanao police provincial director, said he is certain the IED was meant to cause harm to policemen in the area.
"Deliberate talaga ang pagpaputok nila na saktong dumaan 'yung Mahindra," said Tello who added that they are considering 2 angles as motive for the explosion.
He said the explosion could be a retaliation following the PNP and Armed Forces' joint law enforcement operation in Rajah Buayan or something mounted by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedeom Fighters.
"May information kami na may mga nagtapos ng bomb making na members ng BIFF. Posibleng ito ay test mission. Noong mga nakalipas na araw, may mga narekober at sumabog na IED," he said.