Soldier hurt in Maguindanao roadside blast

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/06 Sept) — A soldier was injured in the head when suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters set off an improvised explosive device around 9:30am on Tuesday in Maguindanao, the Army said.

Colonel Felicisimo Budiongan, commander of the 1st Mechanized brigade, said the soldiers were conducting morning foot patrol along the highway in Barangay Lower Salbu in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town when the explosion took place.

“We are convinced the BIFF did this to us, knowing their signature way of attack. We believe they planted the bomb last night,” Budiongan said.

The BIFF was yet to respond to MindaNews’ query on their alleged involvement.

The wounded soldier was identified Staff Sergeant Ricor Bati-on who was hit by a shrapnel in head but was declared out of danger.

The blast site was a few meters away from the 2nd Mechanized Battalion headquarters.

Clearing operations continued after the blast, according to 2nd Mechanized Battalion commander Lt Col Warlito Limet.

The military has been placed on heightened alert in the aftermath of the bombing on Friday night in Davao City that left 14 people killed and 71 others wounded.

President Rodrigo Duterte responded to the bombing by declaring a state of lawless violence nationwide.

On Tuesday, the Palace announced the issuance of Proclamation No. 55 signed by the President on Sept. 4 declaring a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence in Mindanao. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)