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Police detonate bomb in South Cotabato

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines—Police bomb experts safely detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) discovered under a tree beside the national highway in Tantangan, South Cotabato (an earlier report said it was found planted in a targeted passenger bus).
Chief Superintendent Felicisimo Khu Jr., head of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, said the bomb, fashioned out of an 81-millimeter mortar shell fitted with a mobile phone as trigger device, was found in Barangay (village) Magon around 8 a.m.
He said the police suspected that the bomb was intended for buses of the Yellow Bus Line (YBL) Inc., which services southern and central Mindanao areas and had previously been the target of terrorist bombings.
“This was the third IED intended for the YBL so far,” Khu said, adding that the Tantangan police had earlier received a text message stating that a YBL bus would be bombed along the national highway.
He said the police talked with the YBL management on the latest attempt but that nobody would confirm if it was related to previous acts of extortion against the company.
The authorities had earlier warned of possible bomb attacks in South Cotabato and other parts of Central Mindanao.
On December 26, two improvised bombs were defused by the police’s explosive ordnance disposal team in Polomolok, South Cotabato.
The bombs were discovered by two teenagers hidden in baggage left near the gate of the Polomolok National High School.
Two other IEDs earlier recovered in the region were also made of 81-mm mortar shells and fitted with mobile phones as detonating devices.
Meanwhile, threats to blow up bombs in Alabel and Maasim towns, both in Sarangani Province, anytime on Wednesday or Thursday were being closely monitored, Khu said.—With Jamie Marie Elona,
4:45 pm | Wednesday, January 4th, 2012


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