Bomb found inside governor office compound

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011


KIDAPAWAN CITY -- An improvised explosive device (IED) was found inside the 32-hectare compound of the Office of the Armm Regional Governor in Cotabato City around 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Lieutenant Colonel Leopoldo Galon of the Eastern Mindanao Command said the IED, fashioned from an 81-mm mortar attached to a cell phone as triggering device, was found inside the Shariff Kabungsuwan Cultural Complex.

Responding police and Army personnel recovered from the area a Samsung cell phone with SIM card, three nine-volt batteries and a circuit diagram with relay that were all placed inside a backpack.

Also inside the bag were leaflets with markings, "Bangsamoro Independence Movement" and "Bangsamoro Youth Movement."

The IED discovery came a day after two IEDs went off in separate incidents in Cotabato City.

The city was celebrating the feast of the coming of Shariff Kabungsuwan, an Arab missionary who was responsible for the spread of Islam in Mindanao.

Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Arriba, commanding officer of the Task Group Bigkis Lahi, a humanitarian outfit of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the bombings took place about eight hours after a grenade blast rocked a busy street here.

The bombings disrupted the Shariff Kabungsuwan festivities inside the Shariff Kabungsuwan Cultural Complex, just few meters away from the Office of the Armm Regional Governor.

Arriba said while the blasting mechanism of the IEDs exploded, the mortar rounds attached to it failed to set off.

Operatives of the Army’s 6th Ordnance and Explosive (EOD) battalion were able to dismantle the parts of the IED.

While the deactivation was ongoing, another IED exploded along Sinsuat Avenue, here.

No one was injured or killed in the blasts but it sent people into panic, authorities said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombings, Arriba said.

The explosions came several hours after a grenade blast occurred near the residence of Cotabato City Mayor Japal Guiani Jr., where three people were injured.

It is not clear, though, if the Bangsamoro Independence Movement and Bangsamoro Youth Movement were behind the bombings, Galon said.

"I don't want to speculate. We'll ask the police for their analysis," Galon added. (Malu Cadelina Manar of Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 21, 2011.

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