‘A cowardly act’: AFP condemns deadly Indanan blast


Posted at Jun 29 2019 06:45 PM | Updated as of Jun 30 2019 08:37 AM

Soldiers walk past the body of a man slumped beside a tricycle following an armed attack in front of the temporary headquarters of the army's 1st Brigade Combat team, in Barangay Kajatian, Indanan town, Sulu on Friday. An attack on a special Philippine army counter-terrorism unit left 3 soldiers dead and 12 others wounded, military spokesmen and witnesses told AFP. Nickee Butlangan, AFP

MANILA—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Saturday condemned the "cowardly" bomb attack in Indanan town, Sulu that killed 8 people, including 3 soldiers, and injured at least 12 others.

In a statement, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr. denounced the bombing, allegedly carried out by terror group and Islamic-State linked Abu Sayyaf.

"We condemn the latest bombing that victimized not only our soldiers but also civilians who were in the vicinity of the blast," Madrigal said.

"Targeting soldiers and civilians whose only intention is to provide security and maintain peace in the communities is a cowardly act and deserves condemnation in the strongest terms possible."

The bomb attack killed 3 soldiers of the Philippine Army's First Brigade Combat Team (1BCT) stationed in Barangay Kajatian. 

Madrigal said the soldiers "did not die in vain," as they saved lives by stopping the bomber from entering the military camp.

A second bomber was also neutralized by 1BCT troops before he entered the soldiers' quarters, although he was still able to set the bomb off, wounding other troops.

Madrigal visited the 1BCT troops and awarded the wounded at Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Jolo, Sulu.

"We commiserate with the relatives of our troops and the civilians and we assure the wounded personnel of the utmost care and medical attention," Madrigal said. 

The Chief of Staff was accompanied by newly installed Western Mindanao Commander, Major General Cirilito Sobejana, who assumed his position the same day the explosion happened.

The military officials conducted an inspection at the blast site. They were also briefed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) on the investigation. 

According to military officials, the AFP will wait for the result of the police investigation before it carries out follow-up operations.