Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City- An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded in Albarka, Basilan killing two (2) children and wounding three others this morning.
The IED was monitored to be laid by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) under Furuji Indama to sow fear on the people in the area especially those who are not sympathetic to their group. All the five (5) victims are from Bgy Danapah, Al Barka, Basilan the same place where the IED was triggered. Both fatalities are children, Niyadz Pising who is two (2) years old and Ombek Akbar who is five (5). The three (3) wounded are Pahmiya Pising and Salmiya Akbar who are both four (4) years old, and Suraima Akbar who is twenty-five (25).
The victims were reported to be playing outdoors when they accidentally triggered the IED which was placed in a trail frequented by the locals. Four of the victims were rushed to the nearest hospital however only the three (3) survived. Joint Task Force “Basilan” responded to the incident as soon as it came to their attention and is currently assessing the incident together with local authorities and come up with measure to avert the recurrence of such a tragic event.
Major General Carlito G. Galvez Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), AFP expressed that this horrendous act perpetrated by the ASG goes beyond savagery and stressed that victimizing innocent civilians, especially children, is simply unacceptable. He further committed to exhaust every available resource under his disposal to crush the ASG in the soonest possible time so that the people of Basilan will have the peace that they truly deserve.
Last December 2, 2016, two (2) children also perished while two (2) others were seriously injured during a similar incident in Bgy Bohe Piyang, Albarka last year where the victims also accidentally triggered an IED placed by the ASG along a trail frequented by the locals.