ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga Sibugay: Security forces on Tuesday diffused a powerful explosive planted near a hardware store in Kabacan, North Cotabato, a spokesman for the 6th Infantry Division said.
Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay said a civilian discovered the bomb and alerted authorities and troops and policemen cordoned off the area after evacuating the civilians in the area.
“The . . . team successfully diffused the IED. Its components are still yet to be confirmed,” Petinglay said.
It was not immediately known if the rebel Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were responsible. The military has launched an all-out war against the jihadist group.
The failed bomb attack came a month after BIFF and Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels killed 44 police commandos in a gun battle in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. The commandos were on a mission to arrest Malaysian bomber Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, who was killed during the raid on January 25.
An unidentified group later burned Marwan’s hideout. Security officials believed the MILF burned the house to destroy evidence that may link the rebel group to the slain Malaysian terrorist.