Thursday, October 08, 2009

Steel pylon blasted in Lanao province

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / October 8, 2009) – Unidentified men detonated an improvised explosive on Thursday damaging a steel pylon, but did not disrupt electricity in the southern Philippines, officials said.

Officials said the attack occurred before dawn in the village of Purakan in Lanao del Norte’s Linamon town. “The tower was damaged, but is still standing and operational,” a regional military spokesman, Marine Major Ramon David Hontiveros.

No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but previous attacks on steel pylons in the area had been blamed by the military to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels. The bomb was planted on the base of Tower 14.

The MILF, the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, is currently negotiating peace with Manila in an effort to end bloody fighting in the restive, but mineral-rich southern region of Mindanao.

Hontiveros said extortion was probably the motive behind the attack. He said troops were deployed in the province to protect steel pylons from future attacks.

The MILF has denied any involvements in the latest bombing of the tower being run by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines. “We have no business blasting electric towers. We are not extortionists,” said Eid Kabalu, a senior MILF leader. (Mindanao Examiner)

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