Three days after a reporter and cameraman of TV5 were hurt in a roadside blast in Maguindanao, another explosive device went off Tuesday afternoon on a road in the province's Barangay Tuka, Mamasapano town, less than a hundred meters from a military convoy with media personnel.
ABS-CBN's Ron Gagalac, who was inside one of the vehicles, reported on dzMM radio at 2:25 p.m. that he and other journalists and crewmen from TV5 and GMA-7 witnessed the blast past 2 p.m. while the convoy was on its way to Raja Buayan town.
Gagalac said it was possible that the explosion was a retaliatory attack by members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
Last Sunday, the military announced that it had ended its "Operation Darkhorse" against the BIFF after reducing the group's capability to launch atrocities. The operation led to the capture of four BIFF camps and an explosive factory in Maguindanao. On Monday, it was reported that the military was bracing for BIFF's possible retaliatory attacks.
Maj. Dante Gania, head of the Public Affairs Office of the 6th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, on Tuesday said no one was hurt when the explosive went off at 2:05 p.m. in Barangay Tuka just seconds after the convoy passed the area.
“'Yong bomba po ay sumabog ilang segundo lamang paglampas ng convoy ng 46th Infantry Battalion at 12th Mechanized Company. Kasama po sa convoy ang ilang miyembro ng media pero wala namang nasaktan sa kanila pati sa ating mga sundalo,” said Gania.
Gania said a team from the Explosive Ordnance Division of the 1st Mechanized Brigade went to the area to investigate the incident and gather fragments from the site to determine the type of device that was used in the explosion.