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DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Government forces defused an improvised explosive device (IED) planted inside a public bus in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, on Thursday, April 9, a military official said.
Captain Jo-Anne Petinglay, spokesperson of the military’s 6th Infantry Division, said authorities discovered the bomb when a Yellow Bus Line unit with body number 9208 stopped at a police checkpoint at around 10:50 am on Thursday.
Military bomb disposal units immediately responded and recovered an explosive which was crafted using two 60-millimeter mortar rounds, Petinglay said.
“The IED was brought outside the bus and immediately disrupted by EOD team,” Petinglay said.
The bus was said to be on its way to Isulan from Tacurong City.
Authorities are still conducting an investigation to identify the perpetrators and the motive behind the incident.
The foiled attack came months after Special Action Forces (SAF) troopers neutralized Malaysian bomber Zulkifli bin Hir or Marwan in a bloody and controversial operation in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao.
Government forces have deployed special units to flush out Jemaah Islamiyah-linked bomber Abdul Basit Usman who is believed to be hiding in the areas of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Usman is the other target of Oplan Exodus, the botched operation in Mamasapano that is the subject of congressional inquiries.
Close to a thousand internally displaced residents are still staying in makeshift shelters after the military launched an all out offensive against the BIFF and Usman in Maguindanao. – Rappler.com