PIKIT, Cotabato - Military forces on Friday found 10 improvised explosive devices (IED) in the remote village of Manaulanan here following reports that armed men were spotted in the area.
According to Maj. Homer Estolas, Philippine Army 6th Infantry Division spokesman, the IEDs were rigged and ready to be used.
Before the retrieval of the IEDs, troops encountered suspected members of the rebel group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Manaulanan and had a brief firefight. The militants then reportedly fled and went to different directions.
After the encounter, troops scoured the area and found bomb-making components inside a makeshift hut believed to be the rebels' resting place.
Ten containers filled with flash powder with improvised electric blasting caps, firing wire and a 12-volt battery were found.
Estolas said they suspect the BIFF was behind the series of blasts in Central Mindanao last Dec. 22.
"Isa sa tinitingnan sa investigation na ang grupong ito ay suspects sa recent bombings sa Cotabato, Libungan and Upi (One thing being looked into is this group is behind the recent bominbs in Cotabato, Libungan and Upi). However, investigation is still ongoing," the official said.
The BIFF denied the allegations.