Saturday, November 29, 2008

Security forces defuse bomb planted at Christian church in Southern Philipppines

A temple of the Inglesia Ni Cristo in the Philippines. Security forces have disarmed Saturday, November 29, 200 two bombs planted in front of an Iglesia Ni Cristo Church in Kabacan town in North Cotabato province in Mindanao island, south of the country. (Photo from josepherdon.blogspot.com)


MAGUINDANAO, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 29, 2008) – Government soldiers and policemen have defused Saturday two powerful improvised explosives planted in front of a Christian church in Mindanao island, south of the Philippines, where security forces are battling Moro and communist insurgencies the past decades.

The explosives, assembled from two 60mm mortar bombs, were planted in front of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in Kabacan town in North Cotabato province. It was the second time that a bomb was left near the Iglesia Ni Cristo Church this week, said Lt. Col. Julieto Ando, spokesman for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division.

Although no groups or individual claimed responsibility for the failed bombings, Ando said the explosives had the signature of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“The MILF is known to use that kind of IED,” he said without elaborating further, but the military has blamed the secessionist rebel group to a bomb attack late Wednesday outside the church of the Adventist Jehova's Witness also in Kabacan town.

The blast caused no major damage to the church, but it sent a chilling warning that even churches are now being targeted by terrorists, according to Ando. “We still do not know why churches are being targeted,” he said.

Ando said the previous bomb found in front of the Iglesia Ni Cristo Church was concealed in a backpack and had wirings connected to an electronic clock.

The MILF, the country's largest Muslim rebel group, has denied involvement in the foiled attack or in the previous bombing.

Manila has suspended peace talks with the MILF after rebel forces launched simultaneous attacks on civilian targets in Mindanao in August after the failed signing of a Muslim homeland deal, which the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional. The deal would have granted more than four million Muslims their own homeland in Mindanao.

Security forces are fighting both Moro and communist insurgencies in Mindanao for more than three decades now.

Beside the two groups, authorities are also battling local Abu Sayyaf militants, whose group has links with the Al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya terrorists, blamed for several deadly attacks in the past in the Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner)

1 comment:

ark said...

I'm from Kabacan and heard it when the bomb exploded at the Adventist church. I sure hope trouble will not escalate.