The bombing happened after the military warned of possible retaliations by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters after a spate of encounters with soldiers in Maguindanao province in the past two weeks.
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Bomb attack hits Maguindanao
John Unson ( - July 12, 2018 - 4:52pm

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — A loud blast ripped through the town center of Datu Paglas late Wednesday, just a week after four militants got killed in clashes in a barangay a kilometer away.

No one was killed or hurt in the explosion but the incident triggered panic among villagers, still recovering from the tension caused by last week's hostilities in the municipality that Islamic State-inspired gunmen instigated.

Citing initial feedback by probers, the Police Regional Office-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao reported Thursday that fragments of a 40 millimeter grenade projectile were recovered from the scene.

Chief Superintendent Graciano Mijares of PRO-ARMM said investigators are still trying to determine if the explosive was fired from a distance using a launcher, or was converted into a bomb detonated from a distance using an improvised blasting contraption.

“Good enough no one was hurt. Personnel of our municipal police office in Datu Paglas have tightened security in the municipality to prevent any repeat of such attack,” Mijares said.

The bombing happened after the commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, warned of possible retaliations by the brigand Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters after a spate of encounters with soldiers in Maguindanao province in the past two weeks.

Key members of the municipal peace and order councils in the second district of Maguindanao have confirmed that the BIFF lost 21 members in the skirmishes, which also caused the displacement of no fewer than 500 families.

The BIFF is feared for venting ire on non-military targets to avenge losses in clashes with pursuing military units.

The group, which uses the black Islamic State flag as revolutionary banner, has been trying to sabotage the peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Four from the BIFF’s 21 latest fatalities were gunned down by soldiers while in a farming village in Mupak area in Datu Paglas, about a kilometer away from the spot where a grenade went off at past 8:00 p.m. Wednesday.

Sobejana said he is convinced that the BIFF was behind the bombing.

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