Twin blasts rock Maguindanao town

Camp SIONGCO, Maguindanao — Twin explosions rocked the town of Ampatuan, Maguindanao on Friday morning but no one was reported injured, the military here said.

Major Arvin John Encinas, spokesperson of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the bombs were separately placed by the roadside near the Poblacion of Ampatuan town.

“Our troops in the area said the bombs were fashioned from 81-mm. mortar explosives concealed in sacks along the highway,” Encinas told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview.

He said the explosions took place at about 9 a.m. as three military trucks were passing by the area.

“The blast site is actually very proximate to the town center,” Encinas said, adding that it was just fortunate that no one was hurt in the incident.

The highway has also been temporarily shut down, resulting in hundreds of vehicles from both sides stranded for almost two hours.

Encinas said the bombing bore the signature style of the Islamic State-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters that mainly operates in the so-called “SPMS box” in the province.

The SPMS box is a military term referring to the adjoining Maguindanao towns of Shariff Aguak-Pagatin (Datu Saudi), Mamasapano, and Datu Salibo.