Saturday, May 24, 2014

Alert villagers foil bomb attempt vs Army troopers in N. Cotabato

From the Philippine News Agency (May 24): Alert villagers foil bomb attempt vs Army troopers in N. Cotabato

MAKILALA, North Cotabato -- Alert villagers prevented another attempt by communist guerillas to blow up military vehicles plying remote villages of this town when they found suspected bombs at a road side frequently used by soldiers, officials said.

The residents whom Army authorities refused to identify for security reasons, alerted the soldiers about their discovery and prevented what could have been another bloody incident.

Col. Nilo Vinluan, commander of the 57th Infantry Battalion based in Poblacion, Makilala, said the four improvised bombs could have been planted by communist New Peoples’ Army in Barangay Luna Sur, one of the villages known infiltrated by communist rebels under NPA Front 53.

Combined forces of the 57th and 39th Infantry Battalion safely defused the IEDs fashioned from 60 mm mortars with mobile phone as trigger mechanism.

“Obviously, this was the handiwork of the NPAs because they have been doing this to our troops," Vinluan said in a radio interview.

“Clearly, they wanted to get back at us,” he added.

Vinluan said the rebels suffered heavily when they tried, but failed, to overrun police station of President Roxas, North Cotabato Tuesday dawn.

In the incident, five NPA leaders, including Commander Revo, a sub-leader of NPA Front 53, were killed, scores wounded, including one rushed by the police at the provincial hospital.

The discovery of IEDs in Makilala came two days after two similar improvised bombs were found in Green Hills, President Roxas.

The place where the IEDs were found was 100 meters away from the detachment of 57th IB whose personnel conducted pursuit operations after the NPAs attack the town police station.

“We expect more retaliatory attacks from the NPAs," Vinluan said.

The communist guerillas in North Cotabato remained silent on Army claims they were responsible in the foiled bomb attempts.

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