Soldier killed, 5 injured in roadside bomb attack PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 February 2016 11:37

A soldier was killed and five others injured late Saturday in a roadside bomb attack carried out by a splinter group of the Philippines’ one-time largest Muslim rebel group.

In a text message Sunday,  Capt. Joann Petinglay, spokesperson of the Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID), said villagers confirmed the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) had planted improvises explosive device in several  spots in Datu Salibo town in revenge to the killing by army troopers of their guerrillas in a series of clashed last week.

BIFF had opposed the peace agreement the Moro Islamic Libertion Front (MILF) signed with the Philippine government.

The group had launched attacks against soldiers securing a dredging project on a river in Datu Salibo.

Petinglay were scanning for booby traps set by BIFF guerrillas along foot trails interconnecting farms of Moro settlers in secluded areas in Datu Salibo, when a powerful explosive device (IED), detonated from a distance, went off along a path on a swamp.

Soldiers have been clearing from improvised bombs the surroundings of isolated villages in Datu Salibo since Thursday morning.

“This demining activity is very dangerous for our soldiers, but they continue to search for IEDs planted by bandits in many areas in total disregard of the safety of civilians,” said Petinglay.

The victims all belong to the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion, deployed on Thursday in Datu Salibo to help Army bomb experts clear villages from IEDs planted by the BIFF.

Petinglay said soldiers have recovered a dozen IEDs since clearing operations started on Thursday, following request from local officials, apparently worried of the safety of their people.

Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of 6th ID, told the Philippine Star  the BIFF’s use of home-made explosives against non-combatants is a flagrant violation of International Humanitarian Laws.

Five people, among them the municipal treasurer of Salibo, and his five-year-old daughter, were killed in a BIFF roadside bombing in one of the barangays in Datu Salibo on Tuesday night.