BASILAN (UPDATED) -- Two soldiers of the 64th Infantry Battalion were killed after an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded at the boundary of Tipo-Tipo and Ungkaya Pukan in Basilan around 1 p.m. Friday.
According to First Lieutenant Christine Prima of the 104th Brigade, the two soldiers were directly hit by bomb shrapnel, as they were closest to where it was planted.
They were immediately brought to the hospital for treatment, but both did not survive.
Prima said the area where the bomb was planted is a known stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Basilan.
Last June 23, a similar incident also happened in Sumisip municipality in Basilan.
Two soldiers of 64th Infantry Battalion were killed after a land mine went off in Barangay Sapah Bulak.
The Joint Task Force Zambasulta (Zamboanga-Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-Tawi) said the ASG in Basilan has been conducting continuous training on bomb making, with the support of some foreign bomb experts.
In May this year, a bomb factory was discovered in Mohammad Ajul town, where several bomb components and materials were recovered.
A Malaysia-based terrorist, identified as Moho Najib bin Husen was sighted in the area and has been allegedly helping the ASG in bomb making.