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Unexploded bomb shuts down Maguindanao highway

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Maguindanao highway was shut down for more than an hour Thursday morning after soldiers and militiamen found an improvised explosive device (IED) by the roadside.

The IED, fashioned from combined 60mm mortar and 40 mm rifle grenade with mobile phone as triggering device, was found by patrolling government troopers around 6 a.m. in Sitio Panang, Barangay Salbu, Datu Saudi Ampatuan.

The IED was successfully disabled by Army bomb disposal experts at 7:30 a.m.,” Capt. Arvin John Encinas, speaking for the 6th Infantry Division based in Camp Siongco, Barangay Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, said.

He said elements of the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion and members of Maguindanao Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) were conducting foot patrol along the highway as the Ramadan fasting month began Thursday when they found the bomb.

Encinas said no one claimed responsibility in the foiled bombing but military intelligence unit was eyeing the IS-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) that operates in the peripheries of the town as the ones behind the foiled attack.

He noted that the IED could be intended for military convoys that regularly pass by the Barangay Salbu section of the highway. (PNA)