TV reporter, cameraman, soldiers injured in roadside bomb attack PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 02 February 2014 14:35

The military has launched a massive manhunt against two suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) who set off an improvised roadside bomb Saturday morning in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguidanao injuring a TV reporter and his cameraman and 10 soldiers and civilians.

Army Major Dante Gania, 6th Infantry Division civil-military operations chief, said the blast occurred at about 7:45 a.m. in Barangay Lower Salbu, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguidanao.

Gania identified the wounded journalists as TV-5 reporter Jeff Caparas and cameraman Adrian Bulatao who were on board a TV network vehicle along with an Army truck when the improvised bomb exploded.

Both are in stable condition but sustained multiple shrapnel injuries, according to Gania.

Col. Dickson Hermoso, speaking for the 6th Infantry Division, said the convoy, composed of 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion soldiers, a civilian pick-up truck and the TV-5 vehicle, was heading toward Datu Piang when the incident happened.

Hermoso said two helicopters took the victims and airlifted them to Shariff Aguak where the Maguindanao provincial hospital is located.

The IED blast was believed part of the diversionary tactics of the BIFF members who suffered heavy casualties in fighting with government forces that began Monday.

At least 52 BIFF members and a soldier were killed and about 30 others wounded in the sporadic skirmishes.

Hermoso said soldiers were running after two BIFF members who were seen by witnesses as among those who planted a bag at a roadside and detonated as the convoy was passing by.

Following the incident, more checkpoints were put up in Datu Saudi Ampatuan and Datu Piang, especially along the routes leading to military camps to avoid similar incident.