10 soldiers wounded in Abu Basilan attack PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 August 2014 11:55

Ten army soldiers were wounded Thursday morning in an ambush and roadside bomb attack that were followed by a firefight with suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen in the island province of Basilan.

Col. Rolando Joselito Bautista, commander of the army’s 104th Brigade, said troops from the 18th Infantry Battalion were securing Pamana projects, the government’s peace and development intervention in conflict areas,   in Tipo-Tipo around 9:45 a.m  when gunmen opened fire on them. Then an improvised explosive device went off wounding eight soldiers.

Bautista said the soldiers managed to return fire forcing the attackers to withdraw deep into jungles where another gunbattle continued wounding two more soldiers.

He said the eight of the soldiers suffered shrapnel wounds.

Shortly after the attack, Huey helicopters took off from the Edwin Andrew Air Base in nearby Zamboanga City to evacuate the wounded personnel and to provide air support to army troops in hot pursuit of the attackers.

The wounded personnel were taken to the Camp Navarro Hospital inside the military’s Western Mindanao Command headquarters in Zamboanga City. They were identified as SSgt. Renato T. Aleria, Sgt. Benhar A. Alamia, Sgt. Edwin T. Divinagracia, Sgt. Rolando C. Paculba, Cpl. Baltazar C. Andea, PFC Edgar B. Albios, PFC Jaypee S. Lagrimas, PFC Onary O. Laylay, PFC Nelson B. Vidal and PFC Verly T. Tape Jr.

The attack came two days after a soldier and four civilians were wounded in another bomb attack at the commercial district of Cotabato City, the seat of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

In Zamboanga City, security forces are on heightened alert in the wake of threats from unspecified groups out to sow terror, one year after the September 9 siege that left some 300 deaths and about 50,000 people displaced.