2 dead as soldiers fired shots at men who lobbed grenade

By Arianne Apatan, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao

Posted at Jul 12 2015 12:00 AM | Updated as of Jul 12 2015 08:00 AM

MAGUINDANAO -- Two people were killed in a sly grenade attack in Barangay Sambulawan in Datu Salibo, Maguindanao Friday morning.

Datu Salibo Police chief Insp. Abdulbasit Kulod said members of the 22nd Mechanized Company of the 2nd Mechanized Battalion under a certain Capt. Melendrez were on board a vehicle with Barangay Masigay, Datu Piang chairman Sajid Ambiton when the explosion occurred.

The group came from Datu Piang and was on their way to Datu Saudi Ampatuan.

Upon reaching Barangay Sambulawan in Datu Salibo, however, two motorcycle-riding men went beside the vehicle and lobbed a hand grenade at a nearby army detachment in the area.

After hearing the explosion, soldiers at the army detachment then opened fire in the direction of the national highway, hitting the vehicle carrying the soldiers.

Ambiton and a soldier, identified as Sgt. Dinnes Tamma, died in the incident. Melendrez was wounded.

Another explosion occurred within the same vicinity around 7 p.m. This was followed by a firefight which lasted for 20 minutes.

Another soldier, identified only as Private First Class Neri, was injured.

Both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are investigating the series of explosions.

Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters spokesperson Abu Missry Mama denied that his group was behind the blasts.