Three soldiers got killed while three others, including an Army captain, were injured when thier convoy was ambushed by still unidentified armed men in Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte, Sunday morning, the military said.
Army spokesman Maj. Harold Cabunoc said they have yet to recieve the names of the fatalities, but those injured included a certain Capt. Barnes who is in critical condition.
The incident occurred around 11 a.m. while the convoy of 5th Infantry Battalion commander Lt. Col. Bagnus Gaerlan was passing through Brgy Payong.
Those killed and injured were riding a KM450 military truck while Gaerlan, who was riding a civilian vehicle, is unharmed, Cabunoc said in a phone interview, citing field reports reaching the Army headquarters.
“Colonel Gaerlan was on his way to facilitate the surrender of two MILF members. It is still unknown who did the ambush, but MILF forces are frequently seen in that area,” Cabunoc said.
Colonel Ricardo Visaya, commander of the 104th Brigade, sent reinforcements to pursue the attackers.
“Walang ‘area of temporary stay’ ang MILF doon, ang pinakamalapit na ATS ay nasa Butig, Lanao del Sur… Kung mapapatunayan na MILF itong mga nang-ambush, this is a clear ceasefire violation,” Cabunoc said. (John Roson)
– end –