8 soldiers injured in accidental blast in Sulu clearing operations
ZAMBOANGA CITY — Eight soldiers were injured when they tripped on a wire that served as a trigger for an improvised explosive device in Barangay Bangkal in Patikul, Sulu, the military said Sunday.
Lieutenant Colonel Gerry Besana, the public affairs officer of the Western Mindanao Command, said the incident took place as soldiers were collecting firearms and explosives found in the area after a clash with suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits on Saturday.
The injured soldiers were brought to the Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Busbus in Jolo town, where they are now recuperating.
Brigadier General Divino Rey Pabayo, the commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu, said the soldiers were conducting clearing operations following the heavy firefight with bandits under sub-leaders Almujer Yaddah, Sonny Boy Sajirin, and Ellam Hasirin.
He said the bandits also apparently suffered casualties during the clash because bloodstains were seen in the area they were positioned before fleeing.
“We will continue to exhaust all efforts and means to contain the Abu Sayyaf and constrict its movement,” Lieutenant General Arnel de la Vega, the commander of Western Mindanao Command, said.
He added that the Sulu operations were “focused” and were being conducted in coordination with local officials. /ee
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