Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Soldier hurt in BIFF road side bombing in Maguindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 7): Soldier hurt in BIFF road side bombing in Maguindanao

DATU UNSAY, Maguindanao -- Soldiers in conflict affected towns in Maguindanao where outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) operate have been placed on heightened alert following a road side bombing that injured a soldier, the military here said.

Capt. Joann Petinglay, 6th Infantry Division spokesperson, said the bombing transpired in a remote village of Meta here at about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday while the soldiers were conducting foot patrol while Muslim faithful prepare food to take before sunrise.

"We are saddened by the incident but the injured soldier is not out of danger," Petinglay told reporters.

She did not name the soldier who belonged to the 34th Infantry Battalion stationed in Datu Unsay town, one of the conflict affected communities in Maguindanao where the BIFF operates.

Officials of the 34th Infantry Battalion did not expect the road side bombing by the outlawed BIFF since it was fasting month.

The 34th IB, one of the units under the 6th ID, has repeatedly been harassed by elements of outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) since February.

Petinglay said since the fasting month started the other day, soldiers were providing security to Moro communities preparing food to take before dawn and after sunset in observance of Ramadan.

Some of the soldiers of 34th Infantry Battalion are Muslims who also observe fasting month but still reports for duties. They were with the group patrolling the village of Meta when the bomb exploded.

Army bomb experts said the improvised explosive device was fashioned from 60 mm mortar with mobile phone as triggering device. It was similar to IEDs previously set off by the BIFF against the military.

"The road side bomb is very dangerous, it puts the civilians and commuters in danger and not only the military stationed in the area," an junior Army officer said. He asked not to be named.

He said no military operation was conducted but he said the soldiers were told to remain vigilant and prevent saboteurs from taking advantage of the observance of fasting month.


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