THREE soldiers, who were pursuing the Abu Sayyaf bandits, were wounded in a bomb explosion in the nearby island province of Basilan, a military official said Tuesday.

First Lieutenant Steffani Cacho, Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) information officer, said the incident happened around 7:40 a.m. Tuesday in the village of Pamatsaken, Sumisip town.

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Cacho said the troops were in pursuit of the Abu Sayyaf bandits when they tripped on a bomb set up as a landmine.

The troops' focus is in the town of Sumisip citing the Abu Sayyaf bandits are hiding in the hinterlands of the said municipality, said Cacho.

The injured soldiers were not immediately identified except that they are personnel from the Army's 4th Scout Ranger Company based in Basilan province.

The three were airlifted to the Camp Navarro General Hospital located inside Camp Don Basilio Navarro that houses the Wesmincom headquarters in Zamboanga City.(Bong Garcia)