Military foils bombing attempt in North Cotabato

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 8) — The military on Wednesday killed two suspected Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) members allegedly planning to deploy bombs in North Cotabato.

Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Gerry Besana said the two unidentified suspects were crossing a checkpoint in Barangay Sangat in M'lang early Wednesday morning. When military officials approached them, the suspects started acting suspiciously and attempted to escape. Besana said the suspects fired at the soldiers, prompting the troops to return fire, which led to the deaths of the suspects.

Authorities recovered an improvised bomb inside a paper bag and a loaded .45 caliber gun.

6th ID Commander MGen Cirilito Sobejana said the military recovered a dummy explosive device in M'lang just last week.

"I think they did it for a reason," he said on Wednesday.

He added they suspect the BIFF or the Dawllah Islamiya-Turaife Group is behind the deployment of fake IEDs.

Day after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), powerful homemade bombs packed inside a van exploded at a security checkpoint in Lamitan, Basilan on July 26. Officials suspect the attack, which killed 10, could be the handiwork of the Abu Sayyaf Group.