Troops uncover NPA bombing plans
John Unson (The Philippine Star) - November 13, 2014 - 12:25pm

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines - The military uncovered a plot by the New People’s Army (NPA) to perpetrate more roadside bombings following an attack on Wednesday in Magpet, North Cotabato that injured two soldiers.

The soldiers, both from the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion (IB), are now confined at a hospital.

The injured 57th IB combatants and their companions were patrolling at a secluded area in Barangay Bagumbayan when the NPAs set off an improvised explosive device hanged on a tree along a farm path.

Lt. Col. Nilo Vinluan, commanding officer of the 57th IB, said the improvised explosive device, set off from a distance using a mobile phone, was packed with jagged fragments of cast iron and metal shavings.

Army intelligence officials said the NPAs in North Cotabato are experimenting on new techniques in IED fabrication and are out to test their homemade explosives on both military and civilian targets.

“That’s nothing new. These terrorists are known for harming civilians, including women and children to suit their vested interests,” Vinluan said.

The 57th IB is engaged in humanitarian projects benefiting villagers in 17 barangays in Magpet.

The NPA is opposed to the presence of soldiers in the barangays where soldiers are conducting continuing outreach missions for the local communities.

Sources from the police and Army’s intelligence communities said NPA ordnance experts are planning to test “overhead” roadside bombs to be planted on trees or roadside hills to trigger a shower of metal fragments when detonated using battery-operated blasting mechanisms attached to mobile phones. 

57TH ARMY BARANGAY BAGUMBAYAN INFANTRY BATTALION MAGPET NEW PEOPLE NILO VINLUAN NORTH COTABATO SOLDIERS VINLUAN
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