ZAMBOANGA CITY: Authorities have tightened security in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur after police forces disarmed a powerful bomb planted on a road where government troops frequently pass.
The bomb—assembled from an 81mm mortar round—was defused following its discovery on Thursday in the village of Gandongan. It was not immediately known whether the improvised explosive was planted by members of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) Ranao or its other allies.
Security forces were fighting IS Ranao headed by Abdullah Maute, alias Abu Hassan, since last week and at least four soldiers had been killed and over a dozen wounded in sporadic clashes in Butig town.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the foiled bombing, but this coincided with the military’s announcement that it had captured an IS Ranao camp in the town.
The military said troops also recovered improvised explosives, illegal drugs and IS propaganda materials from the camp. The jihadists are fighting for an Islamic caliphate and have pledged allegiance with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.