Troops defuse bomb in Pagadian market
Davao City (17 October) -- Government troops on Sunday safely defused a homemade bomb found three hours before it was timed to explode near a public market in the southern Mindanao region, the scene of recent terrorist attacks, officials said.
The bomb, a rocket-propelled grenade and an M203 rifle grenade attached to an alarm clock and batteries in a backpack, was found by a guard near the gate of the Agora public market in southern Pagadian city in Zamboanga del Sur province, police said.
Investigators were looking for witnesses to determine who planted the bomb, which was found after dawn in Pagadian, the provincial capital, about 780 kilometers (485 miles) southeast of Manila, regional police Chief Superintendent Jaime Caringal said.
Army troops and policemen immediately set up checkpoints and intensified patrols in Pagadian following the discovery.
Army Brigadier General Raymundo Ferrer said intelligence information indicated Muslim militants planned to detonate at least six bombs in predominantly Christian Pagadian and troops were checking certain areas of the city for possible bombs.
Authorities have placed Mindanao under "exttical alert" -- the highest of a four-step public terror warning system -- after three bombings last week, including one powerful blast that killed six people and wounded 29 others during a fiesta late Tuesday in Makilala town in North Cotabato province. (PIA) [top]