2 hurt in landmine explosion in Basilan

Jewel Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 21 2016 01:29 PM

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Police are still verifying the identity of two patients confined in a government hospital in Zamboanga City on Wednesday following reports that some injured members of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Basilan scampered towards neighboring cities to seek medical help.

On Wednesday, a plastic bag bearing bloodied camouflage shorts and torn white shirts, including surgical gloves and plasters were brought to Police Station 3 in Sangali by Barangay Chairman Joselito Ziga. Ziga claimed the owners of the bag are new faces in the area.

A couple, who owns the house where the clothes were recovered, was also invited to the police station for tactical interrogation.

The couple revealed that a man and a woman were admitted in a local hospital in Zamboanga City for medical treatment. They reportedly sustained shrapnel wounds. This was verified when the police personally saw the patients.

Police have also talked to the doctors who treated the couple and will collect the shrapnel recovered from the victims after undergoing operations.

The couple reportedly arrived in Zamboanga City last Sunday, following heavy fire fight between government troops and members of the Abu Sayyaf Group in three municipalities in Basilan.

Meanwhile, a source in Basilan said the 2 patients confined in a medical facility in Zamboanga City were members of the Barangay Patrol Auxiliary Team (BPAT) under Sumisip Mayor Ben Hataman.

The PNP in Zamboanga City is coordinating with other law enforcement units to help them confirm the veracity of the statements of the patients and their affiliations. A security plan is also on the way to secure the couple while they are recuperating in the hospital.