Troops discover big cache of bomb components in Sulu
Troops recovered a mortar fuse with a huge amount of components for bomb making in Sulu over the weekend, a military spokesman said on Tuesday.
Lt. Col. Gerald Monfort, Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu spokesman, said soldiers recovered 700 kilos of ammonium nitrate with one 81mm mortar fuse at the vicinity of Brgy Latih, Patikul around 10 am last Saturday.
“A local resident reported to the 63rd Mechanized Company of the 1st Brigade Combat Team (1BCT) about the presence of a suspected explosive device in an abandoned house in the barangay,” he said.
“Government troops immediately responded...and cordoned the area to ensure the safety of the populace living near the pinpointed abandoned house,” he added.
According to Police Col. Pablo Labra, Sulu provincial director, ammonium nitrate is a component for explosive used by the Abu Sayyaf because of its cratering charge effect when mixed with fuel substances.
“Scene of the crime operatives (SOCO) forensic examinations in the Jolo Cathedral and Brgy. Tanjung, Indanan bombings points out that Abu Sayyaf improvised explosive devices have signatures of ammonium nitrate”, he said.
Brig. Gen. Leopoldo Imbang Jr, commander of the 1st BCT, said the recovery of this explosive material is unexpected.
“In many occasions, we have neutralized ASG’s scheme in deliberately prepositioning explosives in the outskirts of Metro Jolo ready to be picked-up and delivered by other ASG members to their targets. But we never expected these huge explosive components during the search” Imbang said.
Major General Corleto Vinluan Jr, commander of JTF Sulu, stressed the importance of recovering these bomb components.
“I congratulate the 6th Mechanized Battalion of the 1st BCT for this very remarkable achievement. The recovered items can be used as improvised explosive device (IEDs) that could cause tremendous destruction beyond our imagination. The incident today only points out that the involvement of the civilians is very vital in our security effort,” he said
Monfort said government forces are still trying to determine the identity of the people behind the recovered explosive components and the 81mm mortar fuse. Robina Asido/DMS