Government forces in Cotabato City were again told to stay alert as another improvised explosive was found outside the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s capitol on Monday night, the third in just three months’ time.

The bomb, comprised of a 90-millimeter anti-tank explosive, cellphone, 9-volt battery, and an electronic circuit was discovered around 7 p.m. along Guttierez Ave., Dir. Felicisimo Khu, chief of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, said in a text message.

A “sikad” driver spotted the explosive and reported it to authorities, who successfully diffused the device using the water disruption method around 7:45 p.m., Khu said.

“The IED was not covered with anything and planted just about 100 meters from the front gate of ARMM Office of the Regional Governor (ORG) complex,” he said.

The site was “very near” to the place where an 81mm IED’s blasting cap went off on September 14, according to the police official.

On August 2, a “twin” 81mm IED’s blasting cap also exploded inside the ORG complex.

Khu said he directed the Cotabato City Police Office to step up “proactive measures” to deter IED bombings.

Cotabato City, though host to the ARMM capitol and often grouped with Maguindanao, is not part of the autonomous region since residents voted against the city’s inclusion during the November 1989 plebiscite. (John Roson)

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