Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Twin roadside bombings trigger alert in Basilan

Philippine soldiers who were wounded in a roadside bombing in troubled Basilan province are recuperating Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at a military hospital in Zamboanga City. (Mindanao Examiner Photo / Jung Francisco)

BASILAN, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 3, 2010) – Police have stepped up security in the troubled southern Philippines province of Basilan following two roadside bombings that killed an army soldier and wounded about a dozen people, officials said Wednesday.

“We are taking steps to ensure the safety of everybody in Basilan. There is an ongoing operation against lawless elements,” Senior Superintendent Antonio Mendoza, the provincial police chief, told the Mindanao Examiner.

Police said four of those wounded in Monday’s twin attacks were followers of a mayoralty candidate Ben Hataman who is running in Sumisip town. The explosion occurred at around 11:00 a.m. in the town’s Giong village wounding the four who were traveling in a jeep.

Another explosion 20 minutes later in the village of Libog also in Sumisip town targeted a military armor personnel carrier killing the soldier and wounding eight more.

Police blamed the Abu Sayyaf for both attacks. The wounded soldiers were brought to a military hospital in Zamboanga City where they are being treated for bullet and shrapnel wounds.

Mendoza said they also deployed additional police forces in Bubuan Island off Basilan province after sporadic fighting erupted between two warring clans headed by Masud Agtah and Jamang Mohamad that left one person dead over the weekend.

Two people were also wounded in the clashes, he said. (Mindanao Examiner)

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