Monday, November 07, 2011

5 soldiers wounded in landmine explosion in Basilan province

Army troops patrol Basilan province in the southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 7, 2011) – Five Special Forces soldiers were injured, two of them critically, following a landmine explosion Monday on a village in the southern Muslim province of Basilan, officials said.

Officials said the soldiers were patrolling the village of Baiwas in Sumisip town when they tripped on the landmine. “The explosion wounded five soldiers, who are members of the 4th Special Forces Battalion and were immediately evacuated to Zamboanga City,” Army Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, a spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command, told the Mindanao Examiner.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the blast, but Abu Sayyaf militants and Moro rebels are actively operating in the town.

Just last month, five rubber farm workers were also killed and eight others wounded after suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen ambushed their truck near the village of Sapah Bulak in Sumisip town.

Most of the victims were members of the Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Incorporated Development Cooperative. Officials blamed the Abu Sayyaf for the attack, saying the group was extorting money from the cooperative.

Fighting also erupted in Al-Barka town near Sumisip last month between troops and Moro rebels that left 19 soldiers and five guerrillas dead. (Mindanao Examiner)

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