FOILED BOMBING. Troops recover bomb components as they safely defuse an improvised explosive device (IED), preventing a roadside bombing in Barangay Anuling, Patikul, Sulu on Sunday (Feb. 27, 2022). The location of the IED was established through the timely information provided to the military by concerned residents. (Photo courtesy of the Joint Task Force Sulu)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Government troops have prevented a roadside bombing as they safely defused an improvised explosive device (IED) in the province of Sulu, military officials announced Monday.

Lt. Col. Domingo Robles Jr., 35th Infantry Battalion commander, said the IED was disarmed around 1:10 p.m. Sunday in Sitio Daan Putih, Barangay Anuling, Patikul.

Robles said the IED was located through the timely information provided to them by concerned residents, which prompted them to deploy troops backed by K9 teams.

“After cordoning off the area and confirming the presence of the IED, it was then subsequently defused and successfully recovered,” Robles said in a statement.

Col. Giovanni Franza, 1102nd Infantry Brigade commander, said the recovered bomb components comprised of three electric blasting caps, a six-meter wire, one-meter detonating cord, one-gallon ammonium nitrate fuel oil, 12 volts motorcycle battery, 128 four-inch common nails, and 37 10 mm two-inch steel bars.

Franza said the IED was aimed to kill government troops and other individuals as collateral casualties.

However, Franza said it was prevented through the cooperation of the residents to the Joint Task Force (JTF)-Sulu.

The IED was turned over to Philippine National Police - Provincial Explosive Canine Unit.

Brig. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, JTF-Sulu commander, commended the efforts of the troops and the concerned residents for their vigilance against terroristic attempts and activities.

Patrimonio said they will continue to hunt down the Abu Sayyaf Group which is believed to be behind the roadside bombing attempt.

"We've been tightening our efforts in suppressing this terrorist group. The JTF-Sulu will continue to put an end to terrorism here in this province in the soonest time possible,” he said.

“We will not stop until we zero in on the enemies and their leadership. We will continue to do our mandate and strengthen our capabilities to perform our duties to protect our fellow Filipinos here in the province of Sulu,” he added.

The last recorded bombing incident in Sulu was on Aug. 24, 2020 that resulted in the death of 14 people and injured 75 others after two bombs exploded one after the other in downtown Jolo. (PNA)