The improvised explosive device was packed with metal fragments with jagged edges and rigged with a detonating contraption that can be activated from a distance.MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Authorities foiled on Friday attempts by communist rebels and Islamic State-inspired militants to set off roadside bombs in Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato provinces.
Captain Arvin Encinas, public affairs officer of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said Saturday bomb experts were able to promptly deactivate the improvised explosive device found by motorists along a thoroughfare in the town proper of Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat.
The IED was packed with metal fragments with jagged edges and rigged with a detonating contraption that can be activated from a distance.
It was the second roadside bomb found and defused by Army ordnance men in the same town in a span of three weeks.
The police and Army intelligence units in Sultan Kudarat said the brigand Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, which boasts of allegiance to the Islamic State, was behind the pre-empted bombing plots.
“The 6th ID is thankful to the patriotic residents of Esperanza who helped prevent what could have been a deadly IED incident there,” Encinas said.
About two hours later, passersby found a powerful roadside bomb along a road in Barangay Tomanding in Arakan, North Cotabato, where there is strong presence of the New People’s Army.
Responding police and Army bomb disposal teams safely dismantled the IED, weighing about 15 kilos.
Superintendent Aldrin Gonzalez, spokesman of the Police Regional Office-12, said personnel of the Arakan municipal police are certain the powerful IED was planted by NPAs to retaliate for losses in recent encounters with Army units in North Cotabato.
“No doubt the NPA was behind that thwarted bombing because the IED found there was identical with those recovered in NPA camps in North Cotabato that were overran by government forces recently,” Gonzalez said
The IED, placed inside a large bag, was left ready for detonation on a grassy side of a road in Barangay Tomanding.
The explosive was attached to a blasting mechanism that can be activated using a mobile phone.