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Authorities blame BIFF for roadside blast in Maguindanao town

Authorities blame BIFF for roadside blast in Maguindanao town

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Authorities have blamed the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters for Tuesday's roadside bombing in South Upi town that killed a motorist and hurt another.

The fatality, Alberto Delos Santos, died on the spot from multiple shrapnel wounds.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army's 6th Infantry Division, said Wednesday there are strong indications that the roadside bomb attack was pulled off by BIFF members. The group has repeatedly attacked villages in South Upi, Maguindanao in the past.

South Upi Mayor Reynalbert Insular said he is convinced he was the target of the bombers who laid the improvised explosive device that killed Delos Santos and hurt his companion Loreto Palma, along a highway that straddles through the center of their municipality.

Palma is now confined in the Cotabato Regional Medical Center in Cotabato City.

Insular has survived three roadside bomb attacks since 2017.

"The 6th ID detests this act of terror. We call on South Upi municipal and barangay leaders to help our troops and the municipal police in guarding their communities from such atrocities," Uy told reporters via online messenger.

Delos Santos and Palma on a motorcycle on a stretch of a highway in the town proper of South Upi when the IED, believed triggered from a distance by mobile phone, went off.

Responding policemen and soldiers found a larger, more powerful secondary IED near the spot where the first home-made bomb was found.