COTABATO CITY: Civilian houses located outside the Marawi city war zone were hit by a bomb over the weekend amid continuous military air strikes and artillery bombardments on the lairs of the Islamic State’s (IS) local counterparts in the city, civil society groups reported.
No one was reported hurt in the explosions but residents were “shocked and traumatized” to learn about it because the bombs landed outside the war zone “only a few hundred meters away from AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] detachments and checkpoints,” Drieza Abato Lininding of Bangsamoro Youth for Peace and Development said.
Among those hit by the bomb were houses owned by Aisah Baicon Cayongcat of the United Nations-World Food Program and Ariel Amerol, a regional official of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front-Bangsamoro Development Agency (Ranaw Region), Lininding added.
The military refused to comment on the reported explosion even as they declined to identify the type of bomb that was recovered by civilians from one of the houses that was hit.
Residents recovered a piece of ordnance – a bomb propeller with six sharp fins – raising the suspicion that the explosive was made either out of 81mm or 120mm mortars. They were also not discounting the possibility that the bomb could have been dropped by a jet fighter because the recovered material was not common in Philippine arsenals.
Drieza uploaded photos of the recovered bomb and the damaged houses.
The military has been battling members of the Maute terrorist group in Marawi City since May. They said the remaining terrorists are now holed up in two villages within a square kilometer of each other in the eastern part of the city.
But Sunday’s bombing happened in a non-affected area located on the border of Marawi City and Marantao town which is around 10 kilometers away from the war zone.
Authorities also did not release results of the investigation of the burnt houses in the “cleared areas” in the city.