Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Scout Ranger Dies in a landmine explosion in Basilan

FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City--An elite Scout Ranger perished in a landmine explosion in the thickly-forested Abu Sayyaf lair in southern Basilan yesterday (April 11).

The dead soldier was among the 27 elite troopers  belonging to the 13th Scout Ranger Company who were reported as injured in the bomb blast that occurred at 8:00am in Baiwas village, Sumisip town.

His name is withheld by military authorities pending notification of his nearest kin.

Seven of the victims were seriously injured by bomb fragments and shrapnel. The lone fatality expired as he was evacuated by his comrades towards the casualty collection point.

Six of the soldiers remain hospitalized but were declared out of danger except one who is still in critical condition inside a hospital in Zamboanga City.

The soldiers were conducting a recon patrol around Mt. Abong-abong (Hill 850) when one of the soldiers tripped a landmine triggering the series of explosions, hurting most members of the patrol.

Among the injured soldiers are Cpt Joey Magundayao and 1st Lt Jimmie Acar, the Company Commander and Platoon Leader of the said unit.

Both officers are in stable condition and vowed to continue serving in their unit after recuperating from their minor shrapnel wounds.

It can be recalled that 15 Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed in a major battle with Scout Rangers in the same village barely a month ago. The soldiers confiscated several landmines and bomb-making materials from the bandits after seizing the terrorist-training camp.

Colonel Ricardo Visaya, the Commander of the 104th Brigade which has jurisdiction all over Basilan island, has sent troop reinforcements to pursue the remnants of the Abu Sayyaf Group.

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