TWO militiamen were killed, while two others were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion while they were tracking down the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Basilan, the police reported Monday, November 27, 2023.
The Basilan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) identified the fatalities as Rit Iklaman, 41, and Ligaya Ajanal, 36, of Guiong and Lukitton villages, respectively, in Sumisip, Basilan.
Wounded were Musab Balaman, 37, a militiaman of Baiwas village, Sumisip, and Bibot Sabtalan, a tipster and a resident of Guiong village.
The BPPO said the explosion happened around 12:30 p.m. Monday, November 27, in Sitio Bato Piat, Limbocandis village, Sumisip town.
Investigation showed the victims were conducting military law enforcement operation in relation to the reported presence of ASG bandits led by Tawakkal Bayali when they tripped on an improvised explosive device fashioned out as a landmine along the trail from Sitio Bato Piat to Sitio Irilis, Limbocandis village.
The explosion instantly killed Iklaman and Ajanal while Balaman and Sabtalan were injured.
Bayali is believed to be a brother of slain Basilan-based ASG leader Pasil Bayali, who succumbed to multiple injuries when troops overran his encampment in Sitio Lobloban, Guiong village, Sumisip on June 3, 2023.
The remains of the two slain militiamen were retrieved by their relatives for Muslim burial rites while the other two wounded were hospitalized. (SunStar Zamboanga)