By LITO RULONA
CAMP Alagar yesterday alerted police units across northern Mindanao even as it ordered suicide bombing simulations in an effort to strengthen security measures in the region.
Lt. Col. Mardy Hortillosa, police spokesman for Region 10, said Camp Alagar does not discount the possibility of suicide bomb attacks outside western Mindanao.
“We always consider that there is a possibility that we will become the next target, but there are no specific areas. Mao nga nag-permi ta karon nag-practice for the worst scenario,” Hortillosa said.
On Sunday, an alert sentinel thwarted what appeared to be a “suicide bomb attack” at a military camp in Sulu.
Maj. Arvin John Encinas, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesperson, said the incident, which happened around 5:45 pm Sunday in Barangay Kajatian, Indanan, Sulu, resulted in the death of a female bomb carrier.
Encinas said the attack was thwarted when the duty sentinel, Cpl. Asmada Sabdani of the 35th Infantry Battalion, noticed “a female person wearing black hijab, known as an abaya, who was walking along the road of the Kilometer 3 highway going to the camp.”
Encinas said Sabdani immediately took cover and warned the suspect to stop, while about to enter the camp’s gate.
However, he said the suspect disregarded the warning and detonated an improvised explosive device that caused her death.
Encinas said the suspect was unidentified as her body was shredded into pieces.
He described the suspect as a “woman and foreign-looking with long hair based on the recovered mutilated head; however, the recovered dismembered hand is similar to that of a man.”
Encinas said the trigger mechanism was recovered and an investigation is ongoing.
Hortillosa said simulation on emergency cases is now being strictly implemented to all police units in Region 10.
Hortillosa admitted that terrorist bombers are like “uncontrolled objects,” and police should seriously come up with counter measures with the help of all sectors in the community.
“All communities must prepare themselves for possible attacks,” he said.
Hortillosa said police units must also strengthen their intelligence information gathering.
“Dapat mahimong serious na ang katawhan ngano nga naa man gyud kini silang mga tawhana nga mohimo og kadaut sa atong lugar,” Hortillosa said.
He added: “Dako kini nga problema kung moabot kini kanato.”
Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, called on citizens to remain vigilant and to report suspicious items and personalities to authorities.
“We assure the public that the Westmincom forces shall sustain our security and peace efforts to prevent hostile acts that may disrupt the peace and development in the Bangsamoro Region,” Sobejana said. (with reports from PNA)