2 children killed, 3 injured in Basilan explosion

MANILA, Philippines – Two children were killed and 3 others were injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in Barangay Danapah, Al-Barka, Basilan in the southern Philippines early Sunday, January 29.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines' Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said the Abu Sayyaf Group, under Furuji Indama, carried out the blast "to sow fear" in the area.

The two children killed were identified as 2-year-old Niyadz Pising and 5-year-old Ombek Abar. The 3 wounded victims are Pahmiya Pising and Salmiya Akbar, both 4 years old, and 25-year-old Suraima Akbar.

Lieutenant Colonel Franco Raphael Alano said the victims were playing outdoors when they accidentally triggered the IED. They were rushed to the nearest hospital but only 3 survived.

"Joint Task Force Basilan responded to the incident as soon as it came to their attention and [they are] currently assessing the incident together with local authorities [to] come up with measures to avert the recurrence of such a tragic event," Alano said.

Major General Carlito Galvez Jr, commander of the Westmincom, denounced the "horrendous act," saying victimizing innocent civilians, especially children, "is simply unacceptable."

Last December 2, two children also died while two others were seriously injured in a similar incident in Barangay Bohe Piyang in Al-Barka. – Rappler.com