THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) condemned on Wednesday the New People’s Army (NPA) for detonating an improvised explosive device (IED) planted on a roadside, which the military said was part of their "anniversary celebration."
Major General Angelo De Leon, commander of the 7th Infantry Division of the 81st Infantry Battalion in Ilocos Norte said at around 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, the NPA detonated an IED planted along Barangay Calaoan, Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Norte, just 2 kilometers away from military headquarters.
He said they believe that the group is targeting the troops on board a military vehicle on their way to the headquarters.
Although no one was hurt in the incident, De Leon said the blast still caused "trauma" to a civilian motorcycle rider, who was then following the military vehicle.
“Fortunately, the military vehicle was already past 20 meters from the blast site upon detonation...Unfortunately, a civilian onboard a motorcycle who was trailing the military vehicle was almost hit by the IED blast,” he said.
De Leon said based on the accounts of the troops, the teenage motorcycle rider was still "in a state of shock" when rescued.
He said they immediately sent reinforcement, including police officers, Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO), and K9 units to clear the area.
De Leon said it was clear that the NPA seriously disregarded the safety of the civilians for their "sinister purpose." (SunStar Philippines)