2 soldiers hurt in Basilan blast

Photo courtesy of Western Mindanao Command

Around 8:50 AM on August 31, 2021, an improvised explosive device exploded at a temporary checkpoint in Campo Uno, Lamitan City, Basilan. Two army personnel from the 68th Infantry Battalion were wounded in the incident, according to WestMinCom Acting Commander Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio.

“They were immediately evacuated to Lamitan City Hospital for medical attention,” Maj. Gen. Ponio stated.

According to the preliminary inquiry, three unidentified suspects in a black Honda XRM were seen in the area at the time of the explosion. After the explosion, one suspect shot one of the victims with his cal. 45 pistol and successfully grabbed the other victim’s service arm, an R4A3 rifle with an M203 grenade launcher attached. The suspects then escaped in the direction of Barangay Cabobo.

The wounded soldiers are currently being monitored, according to Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway, Commander of Joint Task Force Basilan. Troops are continuing to make every effort to support police with investigation and chase operations.

“We will continue to intensify our efforts to identify and neutralize the perpetrators and prevent the recurrence of similar incidents,” Maj. Gen. Ponio further stated.

The wounded troops were airlifted to Camp Navarro General approximately 12:30 PM, where one was proclaimed dead on arrival and the other was taken to Zamboanga City Medical Center for additional treatment. The identity of the victims will not be revealed until their relatives have been notified.

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