COMBINED forces of the Abu Sayyaf group and rouge Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) detonated Saturday an improvised bomb, damaging a bridge in Sulu province.

Brigadier General Rustico Guerrero, Joint Task Force Comet (JTFC) chief, said the explosion took place around 2:30 p.m. in the village of Bato-Bato, Indanan town, hitting the Talatak Bridge.

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Guerrero said the combined bandits and rouge MNLF rebels led by Tahil Sali and Abraham Joel set off the improvised bomb to prevent the government troops from advancing.

The explosion happened at the height of a firefight, which ensued when the troops responded to a report from civilians about the presence of heavily armed men placing an unidentified package at the Talatak Bridge.

He said no one among the troops were either killed or injured during the explosion and firefight.

The bandits and rebels then fled towards an MNLF camp in Sitio Marang, Barangay Buansa in Indanan, Guerrero said.

Three days before the bombing, the same rebel groups attacked Marine troops guarding the Baitamal Bridge in Indanan Town.

The Baitamal Bridge is located just a kilometer away from Talatak Bridge.

Troops were deployed to secure the workers who are undertaking the repair works on Talatak Bridge, Guerrero said.