ZAMBOANGA CITY — Three soldiers of the Philippine Army’s 74th Infantry Battalion (IB) were wounded in an ambush in the boundary of Barangay Sabong and Campo Uno in Lamitan City in Basilan at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday.
Colonel Gerry Besana, public affairs officer of the Western Mindanao Command, said the three personnel from the Bravo Company of the 74th IB were on board two motorcycles on their way to Macalang Patrol Base in Al Barka town when an unidentified armed group ambushed them.
Police Colonel Rufino Inot, provincial director of the Basilan Police office, said the three soldiers came from the market in Lamitan City and on their way back to their headquarters when the unidentified suspects repeatedly fired at them using a caliber 5.56 rifle. Sixteen empty shells were recovered from the crime scene.
Inot identified the victims as Corporal Allan Ablan, Private First Class Richard Fernandez, and Private First Class Romulo Taeza.
Responding troops brought the wounded soldiers to the St. Peter’s Hospital in Lamitan City for treatment, he said.
He said more troops from the 74th IB have cleared the area and were pursuing the perpetrators.
Besana said this was the first violent incident to happen in Basilan after the peaceful conduct of the midterm elections in the province. (Editor: Leti Boniol)
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