THE police detonated on Monday night an improvised explosive device (IED) under the Tamontaka Bridge, a major span in Cotabato City, a few hours after a powerful IED exploded in Maguindanao town.
Senior Insp. Rustum Pastolero, Cotabato City police station 3 chief, said the IED, composed of black powder with cut nails as shrapnel and a mobile phone as triggering device, was found at about 8 p.m. or two hours after a similar bomb went off in Talayan town of Maguindanao.
”It was planted under the bridge, near the police and the Army’s Special Forces detachment at the approach of Tamontaka Bridge,” Pastolero said.
Bomb experts from the EOD (explosive ordnance division) immediately cordoned off the area and detonated the IED at about 8:15 p.m., described as powerful that could cause the bridge to collapse. The bridge is the lone link of Cotabato City to Maguindanao and Cotabato airport in Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao.
“Obviously, the IED was intended for police and soldiers,” Pastolero said.
Two hours earlier, a powerful IED exploded at the gate of Talayan town hall. No one was hurt but it caused minor damages to the guard house sentry.
Colonel Roberto Sarmiento, commander of the Army’s 19th Infantry Battalion, said unidentified men planted the IED at the gate apparently to inflict injuries, even death, to local officials coming out of the government facility.
Meanwhile, investigation is looking at the angle if the Talayan bombing was connected to the detonated IED at Tamontaka Bridge.
Authorities suspected new recruit members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) could be behind the twin attacks as the IEDs had similar marks contents to the ones used by the rebels.
But the BIFF, under the faction of Ismael Abubakar alias Bungos, denied involvement in the recent atrocities.
WITH A REPORT FROM JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL