Philippines

Gov’t forces block transport of BIFF bomb in Maguindanao

SEIZED. Maguindanao police personnel examine the improvised bomb-laden in a motorbike driven by a suspected member of the BIFF. Police seized the bomb at a checkpoint in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town on July 3. (PNP Photo)

COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao, Philippines — Police and military personnel blocked on Friday the transport of an improvised bomb by a suspected member of the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao province.

The courier, identified as Alimudin Unggala, was driving a bomb-laden motorcycle in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town when he was flagged down at a joint police and Army checkpoint in Barangay Madia on Friday afternoon.

Brig. Gen. Manuel Abu, police director in the Bangsamoro region, said Unggala appeared restless and tried to evade the checkpoint, raising suspicion among the authorities.

When searched, the soldiers and police officers discovered the improvised bomb with a mobile phone as a detonator.

The security forces could not immediately determine where Unggala intended to bring his bomb-laden motorcycle.

But Abu said the alleged bomb courier was undergoing intense questioning by the police.

Abu said they suspect Unggala to be part of a BIFF faction led by a certain Commander Bongos with forces deployed in the Datu Saudi Ampatuan area.

/atm

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