Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Roadside bombing kills Marine, 2 others wounded in South RP

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / October 21, 2009) – A Filipino marine was killed and two others were wounded in roadside bombing Wednesday in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, officials said.

Officials said marine soldiers were patrolling the village of Tugas in Patikul town when an improvised bomb exploded at around 9 a.m. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the area in a known lair of Abu Sayyaf militants whose group is tied to al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya terrorists.

A regional marine spokesman Major Ramon David Hontiveros said two soldiers and a civilian were wounded in the explosion. One of the two wounded soldiers, an officer, died before reaching the hospital, he said.

“A marine officer gave his life for his country while contributing to peace and order in Sulu. The officer was leading a foot patrol at around 9 in the morning in the village of Tugas in Patikul when an IED exploded nearby, wounding him, and Private First Class Ariston Casano and one civilian. The officer was pronounced dead on arrival at the trauma hospital in Jolo town,” the spokesman said.

The other soldier is in stable condition, he said, however, the fate of the lone civilian was unknown.

Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants also bombed Monday a communication relay tower of Globe Telecoms in the town of Parang, cutting off vital mobile phone services in Sulu, one of five provinces in the Muslim autonomous region.

The next day, soldiers foiled an attack on a bridge in Indanan town after recovering two improvised explosives made from ammonium nitrate, a banned chemical fertilizer widely used by terrorists in manufacturing homemade bombs.

Last week, rebels also bombed two bridges in Sulu’s Talipao and Indanan towns and another communication relay tower of Smart Communications also in Indanan.

Security forces were battling Abu Sayyaf and Moro rebels in the province since September and had so far left dozens of casualties from both sides, including two members of the US Special Forces aiding the military in defeating terrorism in Sulu.

Fighting broke out after the military aided by US intelligence, mounted fresh offensives against the Abu Sayyaf and Moro rebels in Indanan town. The offensive coincided with the Muslim celebration of the Eid al Fit’r, which started on the day after Islam’s holiest month of Ramadan.

Early this month, rebel forces also attacked a major military base in the capital town of Sulu. It was the second time in eight years that rebels attacked the base. (Mindanao Examiner)

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