COTABATO, Philippines, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Philippine government forces defused Sunday a powerful homemade bomb planted by breakaway Muslim rebels along the highway in the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao a day after 12 people got injured in their bomb attacks, a military official said.
Colonel Dickson Hermoso, spokesman for the Philippine Army's 6th Division, said by phone that local residents reported to soldiers stationed in Maguindanao after they discovered an improvised explosive device left by members of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) along the national highway at Macasampen village, Guindulunagn, shortly after 6:00 a.m. local time.
"Our bomb experts immediately responded to the scene and defused the explosive. This is another attempt to inflict casualties among civilians and soldiers," he said.
On Saturday morning, 12 people, including two journalists, six soldiers and four civilians, were injured in a bomb explosion in Maguindanao.
The military blamed followers of Ameril Umbra Kato, the founder of the BIFF, a breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), for the attack.
The Philippine government troops have launched offensive operations against the BIFF shortly after the completion of all the four annexes of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the government and the MILF on Jan. 25.
The BIFF broke away from the MILF in 2008 and has vowed to continue the uprising because the Malaysian-brokered talks would not lead to a separate Bangsamoro homeland in Southern Philippine island of Mindanao.