8 soldiers, 2 civilians wounded after booby trap explosion

CAMP SANG-AN, ZDS – A grenade blast resulted in the wounding of 8 military personnel of the 55th Infantry Battalion and two staff of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) Tuesday, September 28, in Brgy. Tangcal, Buadiposo-Buntong, Lanao del Sur.

The incident occurred when one of the team members under 2nd Lt. Bryan Paul Calilung tripped over a hidden vine that was connected to the grenade pin planted near the transmission tower while providing security assistance to the NGCP linemen who were conducting routine tower inspection and repair.

The casualties were immediately airlifted from the explosion site and were brought to Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, for treatment and medication by the helicopters of the Philippine Air Force and the NGCP.

According to Amai Pakpak Medical Center, the five casualties, including the two civilians who suffered shrapnel wounds, are in stable condition. Three of the wounded personnel who also suffered shrapnel wounds were transferred to 1ID’s Kuta Cesar Sang-an Station Hospital (KCSSH).

The hospital said they are now in a stable condition.Despite inflicting injuries due to unavoidable risks, the two wounded personnel were already released from the hospital and have returned to duty. NGCP has requested for security assistance from 55IB as its staff are frequently threatened and intimidated since some locals demand payment for the maintenance activities in the area which they claim as their own.

Also, transmission lines and towers are being sabotaged by the locals that affects the power distribution in Lanao del Sur and its adjacent areas. Lt. Col. Franco Raphael H. Alano, 55IB commanding officer, ensures the people that the incident will not be forgotten and that they will exhaust every means until justice will be served.

Lanao del Sur governor Hon. Mamintal A. Adiong Jr. expressed his great dismay at the cruel act of the terrorist group that hurt his people.

“I am deeply alarmed after hearing what happened to the soldiers and NGCP linemen who were victims of the explosion. I am instructing the LGU and residents of Buadiposo-Buntong to help the authorities in the investigation of this ruthless incident,” Adiong said.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo, the 103rd Infantry Brigade commander, said that NGCP transmission towers are always the subject of numerous attacks. Cuerpo also added that explosives are usually attached to the tower to topple it down, but this time, it was aimed to injure people.

The incident is now being investigated.

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