2 dead, 1 hurt in Maguindanao bomb blast

 

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao — Two civilians were killed while another was injured in an improvised bomb explosion in the middle of a ricefield in Datu Piang town in this province Thursday afternoon, the military here said Saturday.

Killed were Abusama Guiamin, 26, and Abdullah Mamatanto, 21, both residents of Pikit, North Cotabato, in an explosion at 3 p.m. in a ricefield in Barangay Dasawao.

The third victim, Katib Mamatanto, 26, also from Pikit, is now confined at a government hospital in this town. Mamatanto told police and military investigators that they were walking in the ricefield when the explosion occurred.

He could not say whether the explosive was fired from somewhere or was planted. The blast site is the place of recent skirmishes between government forces and IS-linked Moro rebels.

A military intelligence officer said the victims could be the bomb couriers and it accidentally went off while being transported.

The same official said the explosive could be one of the improvised explosive devices planted by BIFF intended for pursuing military forces.

Lt. Col. Gerry Besana, speaking for the military-led anti-terror Joint Task Force Central, said the Army was helping the police identify the explosive in post blast investigation.

In the adjacent town of Raja Buayan, also in Maguindanao, a member of IS-inspired BIFF under Abu Torayfe, was killed in a brief clash with government forces at around 3 a.m. Friday.

The Army’s 6th Infantry Division, in a statement, said elements of the 40th Infantry Battalion backed by armored personnel carriers and artillery fire clashed with Abu Torayfe’s group while the armed men were moving from Raja Buayan to nearby town of Mamasapano.

The body of slain BIFF man was turned over to village officials for immediate burial. No casualty was reported on the government side. Edwin Fernandez/PNA-northboundasia.com