Datu Piang Roadside map

Philippine Army hunts down BIFF for setting off bomb

DATU SAUDI, Maguindanao, Sept. 6 (PNA) — Military here has launched a manhunt against a band of outlawed Moro rebels who it suspected of setting up an improvised roadside bomb Tuesday morning that injured a soldier.

“Manhunt is going on against the bandits,” Colonel Felicisimo Budiongan, commander of 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade.

Budiongan said the soldiers were conducting foot patrol and road security along the road leading to Datu Piang town from Datu Saudi Ampatuan when the explosive went off at 9:30 a.m. in Barangay Lower Salbu.

He said the blast site was a few meters away from the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade headquarters.

According to Budiongan, the still to be determined make of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was believed planted last night.

But he added it has the “signature” of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). Budiongan added the explosive was similar to the bombs used by the BIFF in the past.

Following the blast, soldiers continued their clearing operations to ensure no explosives are left by suspected lawless elements. More checkpoints along the highway have been put up.

Military and police forces are placed on heightened alert following the declaration of President Duterte of state of lawlessness in the aftermath of Davao City bombing.

Abu Misri Mama, BIFF spokesperson, denied his group was behind the attack.

PNA