- Published on Wednesday, 11 April 2012 00:00
- Written by VICTOR REYES
By A Web design Company
TWENTY-TWO soldiers on security patrol in Sumisip, Basilan were wounded when they ran into improvised bombs laid by Abu Sayyaf terrorists.
Five of the injured soldiers from the 13th Scout Ranger Company are in critical condition, said Col. Ricardo Visaya, concurrent commander of the Joint Task Force Basilan and of the 104th Brigade.
Visaya said the soldiers were conducting “combat reconnaissance patrol” in Abong Abong Peak Hill 850 in Sitio Pansol, Bayway village at around 8 a.m. when they hit an improvised trip wire, setting off the improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
The incident occurred about 800 meters from a camp of the Abu Sayyaf which the Scout Rangers assaulted last March 15 and captured the following day. The assault left two Abu Sayyaf members dead. Troops recovered from the camp nine IEDs, excluding three others that detonated.
Visaya said it was the “main camp” of the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan.
“It took the Scout Rangers one day to occupy, to seize that because of the IEDs in the camp... they bring their hostages there so they have to fortify that, they have to build strong defense with the use of IEDs,” he said.
He also said the soldiers who were injured yesterday were sent to the back of the camp which has yet to be cleared of bombs.
He said the soldiers are well aware of the possible presence of landmines in the area before the patrol.
Visaya said the terrorists used a black thread as trip wire. “so it’s hard to detect that in a vegetated area.”
“The bombs were laid even before we occupied (the camp). Before we conducted the assault, before we planned the assault, we’ve been hearing explosions in the area because there are many wild boars who could be tripping the IEDs,” said Visaya.
Visaya said the wounded soldiers were evacuated by helicopters.
Maj. Gen. Noel Coballes, chief of the AFP Western Mindanao Command, said, “The ASG designed the area to be impenetrable... efforts to clear the area of ASG along with their landmines and IEDs will continue in order to ensure that civilians who would want access to Abong Abong for farming are assured of their safety.”