A roadside bomb exploded in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao, which killed a policeman and a civilian driver on Thursday evening. There were four other persons wounded in the incident.
According to Police Colonel Arnold Santiago, the bomb exploded in a dark road area around 8:30 p.m. about 300 meters before police officers reached the provincial police headquarters.
Santiago accused Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) as the group responsible for the explosion. Earlier, police killed a teenaged sniper and trained bomber, who is a nephew of Kumander Bungos of BIFF.
The chief of police of Shariff Aguak town, Police Major Erwin Tabora, was among those on board the police car.
In 2017, a bomb exploded in the same site, which also hit a police car and killed a police officer. The investigation is ongoing.
Bomb intercepted in Maguindanao
Authorities identified the courier as Alimudin Unggala, who was driving a bomb-laden motorcycle in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town when he was apprehended at joint police and Army checkpoint in Barangay Madia on Friday afternoon.
According to Brig. Gen. Manuel Abu, police director in the Bangsamoro region, Unggala appeared restless and tried to evade the checkpoint, which made the authorities suspicious of the suspect’s actions.
The soldiers and police officers discovered the improvised bomb with a mobile phone as a detonator after the suspect was searched.
The government forces could not immediately identify where Unggala intended to bring his bomb-laden motorcycle.
But Abu said the alleged bomb courier underwent intense questioning by the police.
Abu said they suspect Unggala to be a member of a BIFF faction led by a certain Commander Bongos with forces deployed in the Datu Saudi Ampatuan area.
The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, also known as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement, is an Islamist militant organization based in Mindanao.
It is a smaller player in the overall Moro insurgency in the Philippines and is mostly active in Maguindanao and other places in central Mindanao.