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Basilan villagers foil bomb try

Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - June 22, 2020 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Alert residents prevented an attempt by unidentified men to launch bomb attacks in Ungkaya Pukan town, Basilan on Friday, authorities reported yesterday.

A team from the military’s Explosives and Ordnance Disposal unit responded and disarmed an improvised explosive device (IED) found by villagers in Barangay Buhe Pahu shortly before noon, according Brig. Gen. Fernando Reyeg, chief of the Joint Task Force Basilan and the Army’s 101st Brigade.

The IED was made of mortar rounds, wires, blasting caps and equipped with a radio transceiver that was converted into a remote-controlled triggering switch.

The military said the Abu Sayyaf bandit group could have planted the bomb for  patrolling security forces as well as police and government militia forces.

Reyeg lauded the villagers for immediately reporting the incident to authorities.

Meanwhile, Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana assured the villagers that the military is ready to protect them from terrorists.

The attempt could be a diversionary tactic and propaganda of the Abu Sayyaf, whose forces have reportedly been dwindling due to continuous military offensives, Sobejana said.

He said an alert community could restrict the movement of terrorists and lawless elements.

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