The online news portal of TV5
DATU UNSAY, Maguindanao -- The military's 6th Infantry Division (ID) temporarily closed to traffic portions of the Cotabato-Gen. Santos highway after government forces heard loud explosions a kilometer away, the Army here said.
Colonel Prudencio Asto, speaking for the 6th ID, said the closure was part of the "precautionary measures to ensure the safety of commuting public."
Asto said the 601st Infantry Brigade and the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade decided to close the highway from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. following loud explosions.
"The explosions were from dud ordnance in Barangay Upper Meta, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao and the Army conducted clearing operations," Asto said on reports that there were exchanges of gun fire.
About 50 vehicles were temporarily held in Shariff Aguak and in Datu Saudi Ampatuan as the military cleared the area.
Asto said the closure is being imposed from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. to prevent civilians from getting in a cross fire should lawless elements harassed government forces.
Asto appealed to commuters to refrain from traveling at night in Maguindanao and in portions of North Cotabato where Moro rebels are likely to strike.