ZAMBOANGA CITY: Government forces have foiled late Monday a bombing plot of the extremist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu province, a top military official said.
Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, Joint Task Group Sulu commander, said this came after the Marine Battalion Landing Team-2 (MBLT-2) troops have discovered a cellular phone-triggered improvised explosive device (IED) concealed in a bunch of lanzones fruits left at the side of the road.
Arrojado said the troops were manning a checkpoint around 7:30 p.m. Monday along airport road in Barangay San Raymundo, Jolo, when they noticed a motorcycle with two men aboard stop around 20 meters away from them.
Arrojado said the two men disembarked and pretended to check if the engine of their motorcycle conked out and pushed the vehicle past the checkpoint.
The troops noticed that the back rider left a bunch of lanzones, prompting them to inspect the fruits.
He said the troops immediately called the Explosive Ordinance Demolition (EOD) unit and successfully disrupted the IED.
The component of the bomb consisted of two 60-mm mortar shells as the main charge, two kilos of Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil (ANFO) and powered by nine-volt battery with cellular phone as the triggering device.
He said the bombing plot is aimed to distract the military in its ongoing combat operations against ASG.
The Joint Task Group Sulu has launched combat operations against the ASG targeting the senior leaders as well as the foreign cohorts of the brigands based in the province. PNA