COTABATO CITY – A roadside bomb exploded on New Year’s Eve in the troubled province of Maguindanao in southern Philippines and killed a policeman while at least 4 others were wounded in the attack blamed on local jihadists.
The blast, which occurred near the provincial police headquarters in Shariff Aguak town, also damaged a prowl car.
The attack was believed carried out by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters whose members were mostly from the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front which signed an interim peace deal with Manila in 2014.
It was unclear how the BIFF managed to sneak through the town’s center and planted the improvised explosive undetected. There was no immediate statement from the 6th Infantry Division or the military’s Western Mindanao Command in connection to the failure of security forces to prevent the attack.
Police confirmed the blast, but gave little or no details about the daring bombing. Both the provincial governor, Esmael Mangudadatu, and the BIFF, which is fighting for a separate Muslim state, also did not give any statement on the bombing. The victims were rushed to hospital. (Mindanao Examiner)
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