Boy killed by stray bullet amid Army, Abu Sayyaf clashes in Basilan
ZAMBOANGA CITY – An 8-year-old boy was killed when he was hit by a stray bullet in Tipo-Tipo town in Basilan, the site of the ongoing military operations against the Abu Sayyaf group.
Dr. Arlyn Jumaoas, convener of the Save the Children of War in Basilan, said the boy was referred to her for medical treatment on Friday.
Jumaoas said X-ray test showed that a bullet was lodged inside the boy’s head. He died Saturday afternoon.
The physician said the boy was from Barangay Limbo Upas in Tipo-Tipo where Army soldiers and the Abu Sayyaf have been clashing.
“He was hit by a stray bullet,” she said.
“This boy was inside his home with other kids (when he was hit by stray bullet),” Jumaoas added.
Birgen Saharin, a resident of Unkaya Pukan town, said government forces have been pounding some areas in her town, her family and neighbors.
“We are afraid to return home as we might get hit by the ground and aerial attacks,” she said.
Mayor Darussalam Ladjid of Al Barka town said government troops have been conducting air strikes to flush all the Abu Sayyaf from their forest lair.
But Major Filemon Tan Jr., spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, said they have not received any report about a boy hit by stray bullet during air strikes.
“Our airstrikes are guided by forward observers who see the battle area and these areas are isolated from populated areas and communities. Our pilots engage targets based on our rules of engagement,” Tan said.
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