Tighter security for Maguindanao towns after blasts
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - November 26, 2012 - 2:47pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines  – Authorities tightened security in the surroundings of two Maguindanao towns gripped by tension following Monday’s separate bombings that killed a member of the  Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom movement and injured eight other bandits.

Local officials identified the slain BIFM bandit as Kagui Haron, who died from shrapnel wounds in different parts of his body.

Guerillas of the BIFM are suspecting rival Moro factions as responsible for the bombings, which they believe was aimed at neutralizing three of their senior leaders.

Four bandits, one of them identified as Commander Karialan, were injured in the first explosion.

Karialan and his companions were on traveling on foot to a gathering somewhere in Lower Salbu in  Datu Saudi town when an improvised explosive device, planted along a trail, went off.

Abu Misry Mama, spokesman of the BIFM, said they were forced to call off their “Islamic dialogue” after the incident.

Villagers are apprehensive the BIFM would retaliate on rival groups in the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for the bombing.

Certain commanders of the BIFM are locked in bloody clan wars either with barangay officials, or local forces of the MILF scattered in Datu Saudi,  Salibo and Datu Unsay towns.

The director of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) police, Chief Supt. Mario Avenido, said he has ordered the Maguindanao provincial police to guard villages in Datu Saudi town that are vulnerable to BIFM harassments.

Less than 20 minutes after an improvised explosive device went off in Lower Salbu, another bomb exploded along a path traversing a corn farm at the border of Datu Saudi and Datu Unsay town, killing Haron and wounding four BIFM bandits.

One of those injured in the second roadside bombing was Mohammad Tambako, the BIFM’s chief political officer.

Tambako and his men were also to attend the “Islamic dialogue” among BIFM members in Lower Salbo, according to barangay officials.

Mama said they are still validating the circumstances surrounding the twin IED attacks.

Local officials, however, said there are BIFM groups now gearing up for retaliations, convinced that adversaries from either the MILF, or government-backed village militias could be responsible for the bombing. - John Unson

ABU MISRY MAMA AUTONOMOUS REGION BANGSAMORO ISLAMIC FREEDOM BIFM CHIEF SUPT COMMANDER KARIALAN DATU SAUDI DATU SAUDI AND DATU UNSAY JOHN UNSON KAGUI HARON LOWER SALBU
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