12 soldiers wounded in Basilan IED blast

ILIGAN CITY -- At least 12 soldiers were wounded after an improvised explosive device (IED) went off during the clearing operations at Sitio Bohe Libi and Bohe Buug in the village of Macalang, Albarka in Basilan at 5:40 a.m. Sunday.

Major Filemon Tan Jr., spokesperson of Western Mindanao Command, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro in a text message Sunday that the 11 wounded soldiers were airlifted and confined at Camp Navarro Station Hospital inside Western Mindanao Command, while a soldier had surgery at Ciudad de Zamboanga hospital.

"The six-day joint military operations with the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy and Philippine Marines since December 14 until 20 resulted in the overrun of the Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) camp that could accommodate 250 persons with 28 structures including 10 dug-in bunkers," said Tan, adding that in the span of the joint operations, three soldiers were killed and 26 others were wounded, while 26 ASG members were reportedly killed and wounded 16 others.

Tan said a Malaysian jihadist named Abu Anas was reportedly killed during the operations but it still has to be confirmed.

Major General Mayoralgo M. Dela Cruz, commanding general of Wesmincom, lauded the concerted efforts of government troops, the local executives, the Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Team and the leadership of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the continuing relentless operations to prevent ASG and other lawless elements sowing atrocities in Mindanao.
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