8 killed, 22 wounded in attack on military camp in Sulu

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Eight were killed while 22 others were wounded in a twin bombing attack on a military camp in Indanan town in Sulu on Friday, June 28.

The two bomb carriers were killed in the blasts, along with 3 soldiers and 3 civilians, according to Westmincom spokesperson Major Arvin Encinas. 

Twelve soldiers and 10 civilians were also wounded. 

The first improvised explosive device went off at a military checkpoint outside the camp of the 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT). The second IED exploded inside the camp as the second bomb carrier ran to enter the camp.  

The attack happened on the same day Major General Cirilito Sobejana assumed as chief of the Western Mindanao Command. He had vowed to go after the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.

“We will intensify our offensives to crush terrorist groups that hamper the stability and development in Sulu, ensuring that all actions are in accordance with the law,” Sobejana said.

Encinas dismissed fears of suicide bombing. He said the perpetrators, who have yet to be identified, intended to plant improvised explosive devices (IED) at the military camp.

Army spokesman Colonel Ramon Zagala said the attack targeted the 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT), a new “super brigade” that arrived in the troubled province only a few weeks earlier.

Zagala said the perpetrators, who have yet to be identified, were “clearly threatened” by the arrival of the BCT.

The BCT is a new concept that is different from the regular infantry brigades. It carries a lot of firepower – combining two infantry battalions, one mechanized company, field artillery, and special operations forces. A regular brigade has 3 infantry battalions, one company of artillery, and one signal company.

Police reports showed that Army soldiers from the BCT were manning a checkpoint when they stopped a vehicle carrying armed men, who subsequently threw grenade at the troops. 

Up to 3 BCTs are expected to arrive in Sulu as the military goes after the Abu Sayyaf Group.

“We will not be deterred by them,” said Zagala of the group behind the attack. – Rappler.com