Basilan explosion kills 2 militiamen, injures 3 others
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines — Two members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units (Cafgu) died on the spot when they accidentally tripped on an improvised explosive device (IED) in Sitio Bato Piyat, Barangay Limbocandis, Sumisip town of Basilan province at around 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 27.
Brig. Gen. Alvin Luzon, commander of the Philippine Army’s 101st Brigade in Basilan, said a civilian and two other members of the Cafgu Active Auxiliary (CAA) were also wounded.
He said a team of soldiers and auxiliary forces from the 64th Infantry Battalion (IB) was conducting combat operations when one of them accidentally tripped on an explosive planted along their way.
Luzon added that the 64th IB troops were responding to a report that armed groups were laying improvised explosives in the area.
He said the troops proceeded to the immediate vicinity and conducted thorough scouring until they reached the Sumisip area, where the reported IED exploded.
The Basilan provincial police named the two fatalities as Rit Iklaman, 41, married and resident of Barangay Guiong, Sumisip town; and Ligaya Anjanal, 36, married and resident of Barangay Lukkiton, also in Sumisip. The wounded were Cafgu CAA members Musab Balaman, 33, and Bibot Sabtalan, 38; and an unidentified civilian.
Luzon denounced the atrocity as he offered his condolences to the families of the Cafgus and the CAA.
He also assured the families of the slain militia that they would receive assistance and benefits from the Philippine Army, including scholarships for their children.
“The Philippine Army extends death assistance and benefits to the families. The local government unit of Sumisip has also pledged to assist the families, including the wounded, whose hospitalization the local government will shoulder,” Luzon said.
Monday’s blast was the first after the twin explosion that rocked two different parts of Isabela City on May 30 last year that injured two people.
The May first explosion, which happened at 5:45 p.m. at the rear part of a food chain outlet in downtown Isabela City was followed by another at 6:15 pm. at the bus station of Biel Transport at Valderosa Street.