Soldier killed, 2 others hurt in Maguindanao bomb attack

June 9, 2009 12:05 pm 

COTABATO CITY, June 9 – A soldier was killed and two others were hurt when a road side explosion occurred Tuesday morning in a war-torn town of Maguindanao, the Army here said.

Lt. Colonel Jontahan Ponce, regional Army spokesperson, identified the slain soldier as a certain Private First Class Santos who expired while being operated on at the Army division hospital in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

Ponce said the blast that occurred around 8:30 a.m. caused the death of Santos, who belonged to the Army's 64th Infantry Battalion.

Ponce identified the wounded soldiers as Pfc. Mark Anthony Lazaro and Pfc. Darwin Antonio, also of the 64th IB, who suffered shrapnel injuries in different parts of the body.

Ponce said the victims were among a team of 64th IB members who delivered food provisions and other supplies to their companions in a remote village of Tamar in Talayan.

The 64 IB is the leading Army battalion in the manhunt of Ombra Kato, MILF’s field commander long wanted for atrocities in North Cotabato last year.

Ponce said the rebels have resorted to guerilla attacks after its major stronghold, Camp Bader, was captured by government forces.

Among its dirty tactics were food poisoning, road side bombing and hit and run attacks on Army positions.

“They were on their way back to the battalion headquarters when the blast occurred at past 8 a.m.,” Ponce said.

The soldiers had to negotiate a narrow dirt road from portions of the Cotabato-Gen. Santos highway before reaching the detachment.

Army bomb experts said the bomb was fashioned from a 60 mm mortar with mobile phone as trigger mechanism. Ponce said IEDs planted by the MILF litter near and around Army detachments were part of the rebel’s desperate act to get back at government forces.

The bombing came less than 24 hours after soldiers hoisted the Philippine flag at two guerilla strongholds, Camps Afgan and Bader, at the border of Talayan and Guindulungan, also in Maguindanao.

Army units under 6th ID gained control of the two camps after two days of aerial, ground and artillery offensives.

Soldiers recovered last Monday more than a dozen newly-assembled improvised bombs from a guerilla enclave in Barangay Muti, Guindulungan, that fell over the weekend.

“Obviously, based on documents our troops have recovered from that camp, these explosives were to be used in public places such as markets, bus terminals and even buses,” Ponce said.

Ponce said the improvised explosive devices were found by soldiers inside shelters at the center of the MILF’s Camp Bader in Guindulungan, which fell Sunday night after a three-day operation by Scout Rangers and regular Army combatants under the 601st Infantry Brigade. (PNA)



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