MANILA, Philippines – Eight soldiers who were assisting the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Sumisip, Basilan were injured in an explosion, a military official said on Wednesday.
Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) Spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said the eight soldiers were aboard their vehicle in Barangay Mangal when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off.
The soldiers were supposed to protect Comelec officials who were setting up registration areas for the 2013 elections.
A general registration is ongoing for the entire Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), in an effort by Comelec to cleanse the region’s bloated list of voters.
The list is believed to be fraught with voters who are underaged, registered in multiple areas, or already dead.
The automated registration will run from July 9 until July 18.
Cabangbang said this is the first harassment incident in the region since the general registration began. – with a report from Edwin Sevidal, dzMM