ZAMBOANGA CITY — Three soldiers and two alleged suicide bombers were killed while nine others were wounded in an attack on a military camp in the province of Sulu, police said Friday.
The Sulu Police Provincial Office said the incident happened at the headquarters of the Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team in Sitio Tanjung, Barangay Kajatian, Indanan town at noon Friday.
Police did not say whether the alleged suicide bombers were members of the Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
The two suicide bombers rushed one after the other into the Tactical Command Post of the 1st Brigade Combat Team and detonated the bombs they were carrying, police said.
Camp sentinels accosted but failed to stop the suicide bombers, with one of them detonating the bomb near the parking area of the 1st Brigade Combat Team commander, police said.
Police said a firefight that lasted for about an hour ensued after the bomb explosions, as other armed men believed to be companions of the two suicide bombers fired on the camp.
The identities of the slain suicide bombers and soldiers, as well as the nine wounded, were not immediately available.
Police said that body parts of unidentified male individuals were recovered inside the camp of the Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deployed the 1st Brigade Combat Team to Sulu last May 31.
Maj. Arvin John Encinas, the newly designated spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), confirmed the incident but did not say whether the attackers were members of the ASG.
Troops of the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion and 6th Mechanized Battalion reinforced the 1st Brigade Combat Team while all units under the Joint Task Force Sulu were placed on red alert “to enact preemptive measures,” Encinas said.
Checkpoints and roving patrol were immediately deployed at Jolo, Sulu’s capital after the attack.
The attack came on the same day Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana assumed as new Westmincom chief.
Sobejana replaced Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, who decided to bow out of military service nine months before he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56. Ely Dumaboc and Teofilo Garcia, Jr / PNA – northboundasia.com