Suspected Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members fired rocket-propelled grenades in Tulunan, North Cotabato, Tuesday night, damaging a government-owned heavy equipment, military and police officials said.

Colonel Leopoldo Galon, Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command spokesman, said about 10 armed men fired two RPG rounds in Brgy. Tambac around 8:30 p.m.

One of the RPGs exploded near a backhoe, shattering the equipment’s front and left glass windows, while the other went off 25 meters away, Galon said.

Senior Supt. Cornelio Salinas, North Cotabato PNP director, said the backhoe is owned by the provincial government, which is conducting desilting operations along the Malasila River.

The explosions occurred inside the banana plantation owned by RNF Industries Corp., he said.

The armed men, led by commander Jabidi Abdul, were positioned 50 meters north of the target which is on the “fringes” of the Liguasan Marsh, Galon said.

Abdul, who is also known by the alias Beds, is a commander of the MILF “special operations group,” said a military source, who requested anonymity because of the “sensitivity” of the matter.

“Commander Beds is opposed to investors’ development of lands near the marsh,” the source added.

Galon and Salinas both declined to comment on the source’s information, but admitted that the area is a known “MILF territory.” (John Roson)

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