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10 killed, 20 wounded in Lanao ambush

 

Auggust 18, 2008 

A convoy of the Philippine Army’s  501st Battalion of the Tabak Division (1st Infantry Division)  was ambushed by still unidentified armed men at around 8 am Sunday, August 17, at Barangay Ilian, Municipality  of Molundo, Lanao del Sur.  The convoy consisted of four (4) 6X6 Army trucks and one (1) ‘townis’ loaded with troops as well as two (2) Tamaraw FX vans carrying government militias belonging to CVOs.

 

A convoy of the Philippine Army’s  501st Battalion of the Tabak Division (1st Infantry Division)  was ambushed by still unidentified armed men at around 8 am Sunday, August 17, at Barangay Ilian, Municipality  of Molundo, Lanao del Sur.  The convoy consisted of four (4) 6X6 Army trucks and one (1) ‘townis’ loaded with troops as well as two (2) Tamaraw FX vans carrying government militias belonging to CVOs.

 

The battle between the government forces and the ambushers lasted for more than three hours. One of the army trucks carrying soldiers was totally damaged in the ambush. Its occupants were either killed or seriously wounded.


It was confirmed that initially seven (7) soldiers and three (3) CVOs were killed on the spot. More than twenty (20) have been seriously wounded. The wounded casualties were brought to Amai Pakpak Provincial Hospital in Marawi City while five of the more serious cases were brought to hospitals in Iligan City. Others were airlifted by Army choppers for unknown destination. It cannot be determined whether these were wounded or already dead. Soldiers sent to secure the hospital in Marawi City said they are still waiting for more than 10 wounded soldiers who are still unaccounted for after the ambush.


The military is now conducting clearing operations in the area and are trying to locate or retrieve what is believed to be more of the wounded or dead casualties left on the battlefield. Helicopter gunships are visibly seen hovering around the scene of the ambuscade.


The still unidentified armed group responsible for the ambuscade had swiftly withdrawn from the area after the three-hour gun battle. Some local people say these are illegal loggers who mistook the deployment of government troops as an operation against illegal logging activities.

Meanwhile, the MILF in Ranao has not claimed responsibility for the ambuscade. Despite the rising tension on the ground caused by the aborted signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) in Kuala Lumpur last August 5, the MILF has so far kept the tempers of the fighting men in the field under control. The fighting in North Cotabato is an exception because that was a matter of self-defense in the face of the policy of North Cotabato officials to eject Moro inhabitants of the province from their ancestral lands.

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August 21, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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