Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – August 31, 2021

An improvised explosive device exploded at a temporary checkpoint in Campo Uno, Lamitan City, Basilan around 8:50 a.m., August 31, 2021. According to WestMinCom Acting Commander, Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, two army personnel of the 68th Infantry Battalion were wounded in the incident.“They were immediately evacuated to Lamitan City Hospital for medical attention,” Maj. Gen. Ponio stated.

Based on the initial investigation, three unidentified suspects onboard a black Honda XRM were seen in the area when the explosion transpired. Following the explosion, one suspect managed to shoot his cal. 45 pistol to one of the victims and successfully grabbed the other victim’s service arm, an R4A3 rifle with an M203 grenade launcher attached. The suspects then fled towards the direction of Barangay Cabobo, of the same city.

Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway, Commander of Joint Task Force Basilan, the wounded soldiers are still under observation. Troops continue to exhaust all efforts to assist the police in the conduct of investigation and pursuit operations.

“We will continue to intensify our efforts to identify and neutralize the perpetrators and prevent the recurrence of similar incidents,” Maj. Gen. Ponio further stated.

At around 12:30 p.m., the wounded soldiers were airlifted to Camp Navarro General whereby one was declared dead on arrival while the other was brought to Zamboanga City Medical Center for further medical attention. The identities of the casualties are yet to be disclosed pending notification to their next of kin. (TeamWestMinCom)