7 troops hurt as bombs go off in North Cotabato, Maguindanao
COTABATO CITY, Philippines — (UPDATE 3 – 12:37 p.m.) Seven Army soldiers were wounded when a bomb exploded as a military convoy was passing by in Shariff Saydona Mustapha Maguindanao town, Maguindanao province, Wednesday morning, the military said.
The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a faction that broke away from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, claimed responsibility for the incident but its spokesman, Abu Misry Mama, described it as an ambush with grenade launchers and rifles.
Mama also claimed they had killed five soldiers and wounded two others.
However, 6th Infantry Division information chief Colonel Dickson Hermoso said the casualties were only slightly injured.
The Maguindanao incident followed a bomb explosion early Wednesday morning in Midsayap town, North Cotabato.
Major Jocelyn Mangadlao, spokesperson of the 1st Mechanized Brigade, said the wounded soldiers were in a truck on their way from Rajah Buayan, where they were stationed, to their headquarters in Shariff Aguak when the bomb exploded at the side of the road around 9:35 a.m.
The wounded soldiers, from the 12th Mechanized Company, were riding a truck when the bomb went off in Barangay Nabundas around 9:30 a.m.
The casualties were rushed to the Maguindanao provincial hospital.
The first explosion shook Midsayap, North Cotabato around 3:30 a.m. but caused no casualties.
The day before, authorities had warned residents to take precautions against in imminent terrorist attack, a local radio station owner said.
At around 9 a.m., the second bomb went off near an Army detachment in Shariff Saidona Mustapha town in Maguindanao province.
The 3:30 a.m. explosion in Midsayap, on the ground floor of the Tenorio Building in Poblacion One, damaged a pawnshop and the canopy and glass windows of a salon, said Roger Sacdalan, owner of Wow FM.
The incident in Maguindanao happened as security officials met in Cotabato City on the Monday car bombing that killed eight persons and wounded at least 30 others. (with a report from Jaime Sinapit, InterAksyon.com)