Basilan blast kills 1 soldier

David Yu Santos
5 of 27 other soldiers wounded in the explosion are in critical condition

GROUND ZERO. One soldier died and 27 others were wounded in a land mine explosion in Mt Abong-Abong in Sumisip, Basilan on Tuesday (April 10) morning. (File photo)

MANILA, Philippines – An Army soldier died while more than two dozen others were brought to hospitals following the land mine explosion  that was earlier reported in a remote village in Sumisip, Basilan Tuesday morning, April 10, the military reported.

“One of the badly wounded soldiers expired while being transported to Ciudad Medical Zamboanga (a private hospital in Zamboanga City),” Lt Col Randy Cabangbang, spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), said in a text message.

A total of 27 wounded soldiers have been transported to Ciudad Medical and the WestMincom’s Camp Navarro General Hospital. (Rappler earlier wrote about the explosion in this story.)

Five of them are still in critical condition, according to Cabangbang.

Most of the wounded soldiers, who sustained minor injuries, were transported in a Navy ship, while those in serious condition were reportedly airlifted by a US chopper based in Zamboanga City.

Two platoons from the Army’s elite 4th Scout Ranger Battalion were patrolling the peak of Mt Abong-Abong in Barangay Baiwas when the soldiers stumbled on anti-personnel land mines believed to have been planted by members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) around 8.30 am Tuesday.

“The ASG designed the area to be impenetrable,” Maj Gen Noel Coballes, commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said in a statement. “The immediate vicinity of Abong-Abong peak had been an ASG stronghold, before it was overrun by troops of the 4th Scout Ranger Battalion.”

Coballes said the troops were clearing the area from lawless groups and other security threats when they stepped on the landmines. –

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