• Security tightened anew in Mindanao

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: Philippine authorities have tightened security in central Mindanao following a foiled bombing in Sultan Kudarat province and a blast in Cotabato City, officials said on Thursday.

    Soldiers and policemen intensified their patrol and put up more road blocks in an effort to stop the transport of homemade bombs by rebels after security forces defused an improvised explosive in Sultan Kudarat’s Columbio town on Wednesday.

    The explosive was discovered by civilians who alerted authorities, but it was unclear if rebels were behind the foiled bombing.

    Troops have been pounding lairs of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) with artillery and mortar fire and reported that dozens had been killed over the past weeks, although only few bodies had been recovered by military forces.

    The discovery of the explosive came following a blast near a base of a military propaganda unit and a police station in Cotabato City and the killing of 2 soldiers by rebels in a separate clash in nearby Maguindanao.

    The 6th Infantry Division, which has carried out continuous assaults against the BIFF in Maguindanao, did not give out any statement about the bombing in Cotabato and the recovery of the explosive in Sultan Kudarat.

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