SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao – A motorbike rigged with a powerful improvised bomb was set off by suspected extremists Sunday morning while the car of an official of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was passing by along a road here.
The motorbike exploded at 10:45 a.m. while the Toyota pick-up truck of commander Datu Item Ampatuan, head of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) 106th base command, was passing through Barangay Poblacion in the area.
Colonel Arnold Santiago, Maguindanao police provincial director, said Ampatuan was not in the car but his followers, identified by police as Arsad Lintang, Jumer Mamasapano, Norodin Sansaluna, Johaimirin Sansaluna, and driver Jeanor Lintang, all escaped unhurt.
Santiago said the explosive was detonated using a mobile phone that could be the handiwork of the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
Police and military bomb experts said the explosives used bore the signature style of the BIFF and similar to those set off in populated areas in South Central Mindanao in the past.
The MILF and BIFF had been at odds after the signing of the GPH and MILF peace accord and the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
Last month, eight MILF members were massacred by BIFF radicals in Barangay Dasawao, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao. Edwin Fernandez / PNA – northboundasia.com