2 soldiers, student hurt as BIFF sets off bomb in North Cotabato
MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato — Two soldiers and a high school student were injured when Moro rebels set off a roadside bomb in Barangay Ulandang here Wednesday afternoon, police said.
Supt. Tom Tuzon, the town police chief, identified the victims as Private First Class Jestoni Bauzon and Sergeant Edwin Soria, both of the 62nd Reconnaissance Company of the military’s 6th Infantry Division, and Miriam Akis, a student who happened to be near the blast site.
All the victims sustained shrapnel wounds in different parts of their bodies.
Tuzon told reporters the two soldiers were among military personnel on board an Army vehicle when suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters set off an improvised explosive device near the Dabpil Sampulna High School in Barangay Ulandang shortly before 5 p.m.
Police and Army bomb experts described the improvised bomb as powerful because it was fashioned from a live 105 millimeter howitzer shell and rigged with cut nails and metal sheets. It was detonated through a mobile phone.
Quoting a military report, Tuzon said that after the blast, unidentified gunmen opened fire on the military vehicle, triggering a brief fire fight until the undetermined number of armed men fled to the marshland.
The victims were rushed to a hospital here.
The village of Ulandang borders this town and nearby Datu Piang, Maguindanao – where the BIFF operates.
Abu Misri Mama, speaking for the BIFF, said their group was responsible for the bombing, saying the Army was planning to attack BIFF forces in Datu Piang.
“So we hit them first,” he said by phone. SFM
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