Authorities recovered three explosives in Maguindanao as relatives commemorated the second year of the Maguindanao massacre on Wednesday, police and military officials said.

Director Felicisimo Khu, head of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, said an improvised explosive made of an 81-millimeter mortar round was found by Army troops around 5:30 a.m. along the National Road, near the massacre site in Sitio Masalay, Brgy. Salman, Ampatuan town.

Around 6:35 a.m., another IED made of a 105-millimeter Howitzer ammunition was also found along the road, near Camp Imam Malang of the Moro National Liberation Front.

“The explosion near the Phoenix Gas Station in Poblacion, Ampatuan, was not a separate incident but was actually the disruption of the 81mm IED,” Khu clarified.

The IEDs, which are “signature bombs” of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front “lost command,” are meant to disrupt the commemoration activities, Col. Leopoldo Galon, Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command spokesman, said.

Meanwhile, Maguindanao PNP director Senior Supt. Marcelo Pintac corrected his earlier report that five IEDs were found in the province and confirmed the Army findings.

Commemoration activities at the massacre site, attended by Interior and Local Government Sec. Jesse Robredo and other VIPs, ended around 11:30 a.m. without any untoward incident, Khu said.

Another explosive, which was first reported as an IED, was found at the Public Market in Buluan town around 12 noon, but only turned out to be a grenade, he added. (John Roson)

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