MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato Authorities prevented what could have been a bloody Thursday when they discovered a powerful improvised explosive device (IED) planted by suspected Moro renegade guerrillas at a roadside in a remote village here.
The IED was defused by police and Army bomb experts Thursday morning, according to Chief Inspector Henry Narciso, Midsayap police chief.
The discovery of the bomb came after the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) attempted and failed to overrun an Army detachment of the 40th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Ulandang here hours earlier.
Narciso said the IED was planted at a road side a few meters away from the Charlie Company detachment of 40th IB in Sitio Tampat, Barangay Ulandan where construction heavy equipment were parked for safekeeping.
He said the IED was fashioned from two 60-mm mortars with cellphone as trigger mechanism.
The IED in Barangay Ulandang was similar to the IED that the BIFF planted underneath Magaslong Bridge in Barangay Magaslong, Datu Piang, Maguindanao.
Narciso said police bomb experts also found an improvised landmine made of live ammunition of M-79 grenade.
If a vehicle would step on it, it will explode, Narciso said, hinting it could be intended for police or military vehicles that would respond to BIFF harassment.
Colonel Dickson Hermoso, speaking for the Armys 6th Infantry Division, said the planting of IED in Barangay Ulandang and the earlier harassment were part of retaliatory attacks by BIFF to avenge the death of its members during the weekend Army offensives.
Hermoso said the Army is saddened by the atrocities of BIFF which were carried out during this fasting month of Ramadhan.
Ramadhan started Wednesday and will last until August 8.
At the start of Ramadhan, the Army called off its offensive against the BIFF in deference to religious activities.
Following the foiled bombing attempt, police and Army authorities in Midsayap have been placed on heightened alert.
Narciso called on the civilians, whatever their religious or political affiliations, to help police in preventing bombings and other destabilization by any armed group. (PNA)