ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The Abu Sayyaf group seized back from the villagers in a remote town of Basilan the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that were intended to target government troops, a local official said.
Ungkaya Pukan Vice Mayor Joel Maturan said at least eight IEDs were discovered on Sunday by the villagers in Barangay Bohe, an interior village of the town.
However, he said the Abu Sayyaf group reportedly seized backed the IEDs from the civilians at gunpoint.
“The villagers were forced to return the IEDs,” Maturan said.
Maturan believed that the bombs were intended for the government troops who have been utilizing the interior village in their security patrols.
Maturan said he also alerted their civilian volunteers and members of the government militia to stay alert to prevent the militants from planting the bombs and staging attack in the area.