SUV civilian passengers escape IED blast

AN IMPROVISED explosive device (IED) was detonated 10 meters away from the roadside of the national highway in Purok 8, Barangay Baylo, Monkayo, Compostela Valley at 11:10 a.m. yesterday.

Lt. Col Ismael Mandanas, the commander of 25th Infantry Battalion, told TIMES that a Toyota Fortuner passed by when the blast occurred.

Mandanas said there was no report of any casualties or damages as a result of the explosion.

He said the passengers and the driver of the car were civilians.

“No one (was) wounded but they felt the impact,” he said.

After the incident, soldiers from the 25th Infantry Battalion and the Monkayo police responded and cordoned the area. They found another anti-personnel IED from the site during the clearing operation.

According to the army, the landmine was not properly placed, so it failed to cause damage.

Mandanas said members of the New People’s Army’s Guerilla Front 20 led by alias Ka Bosyong could be behind the blast.

“We want to highlight on the desperation of the NPAs to create panic in the community,” Mandanas said. “They want everybody to feel their presence although they no longer have any capability to do that.”

He said the NPA has long been targeting government forces without taking into consideration that civilians would become collateral damage. For now, troopers of the 25th IB and Monkayo police are deployed to secure the area.

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