2 soldiers killed in fresh roadside bomb attack PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 08 August 2015 10:48

by RICHARD FALCATAN

Two army soldiers were killed in yet another roadside bomb attack by suspected Abu Sayyaf guerrillas Friday at the border of Tipo-Tipo and Unkaya Pukan, Basilan

Lt. Col. Melisan Raymund Recaido identified the fatalities as Cpl. Archimedes Cuyno and PFC Taib Asanji of the army’s 64th Infantry Battalion.

Recaido said Cuyno and Asani were part of security forces deployed to coduct route security for military convoys and civilian commuters when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in their midst at Cabangcalan at 1 p.m.

The two soldiers were rushed to a hospital where they were declared dead on arrival due to serious shrapnel wounds.

Recaido said other 64th IB soldiers were sent to track down the perpetrators of the latest roadside bomb attack.

Last Monday, another soldier was killed when a roadside bomb went off at the circumferential road in Tipo-Tipo.

ARMM Governpr Mujiv Hataman has not discounted that he may have been the target of the attack, which killed one of the soldiers securing the route for the Hatamans and other ARMM officials.

“I don’t want to think the bomb was intended for me and my companions. I’m not discounting that possibility though,” he told radio station dxMS over the phone Monday.

According to police reports, members of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf – believed to be opposed to Hataman’s peace efforts in Basilan — had planted the bomb under a tree by the road.

Last month, a roadside bomb had exploded in another section of the highway several minutes after Hataman’s convoy passed while headed to inspect infrastructure projects in the province’s southwest.

Since 1991, the Abu Sayyaf — armed with mostly improvised explosive devices, mortars and automatic rifles — has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortion in a self-determined fight for an independent Islamic province in the Philippines.

Basilan and the nearby island province of Sulu, both known Abu Sayyaf strongholds, are part of the so-called Bangsamoro entity, a proposed autonomous region stipulated under a 2014 peace deal between the government and the MILF. —  Richard Falcatan