Alleged suicide bomber kills CAFGU soldiers, and a 10-year-old in Basilan

Marje Pelayo   •   July 31, 2018   •   5887

Photo courtesy of Philippine Defenses Forum

 

BASILAN, Philippines – At least five members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and a 10-year-old child lost their lives after an alleged suicide bombing incident in Lamitan, Basilan on Tuesday (July 31).

According to 74ID Commander Lt. Col. Jonas Templo, the blast occurred after a van parked at a checkpoint near a CAFGU detachment in Barangay Maganda at around 5:00 a.m.

Checkpoint guards noticed the suspicious behavior of the van’s driver so they alerted their comrades. But the driver detonated the bomb inside the car even before the responding soldiers reached the blast site.

All four of the CAFGU members manning the checkpoint were declared dead on the spot, including the suicide bomber and a 10-year-old child nearby.

Templo said they suspect that the bomber was aiming at the CAFGU detachment but he was blocked at the checkpoint. The Army also suspects that the bomber was a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group though an investigation is still ongoing.

Security measures have been tightened in the area with the military and police mobilizing their respective intelligence and checkpoint personnel for further information. – Lea Ylagan / Marje Pelayo

 

4 killed in military chopper crash in Basilan

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2020

Four people were killed after a rescue helicopter belonging to the Philippine Air Force crashed in Lantawan town in the province of Basilan on Wednesday.

Authorities said the bodies of the casualties have been recovered by the members of the 4th Special Forces Battalion dispatched to conduct a search and rescue operation at the crash site.

Initial investigation showed that the chopper, believed to be flying from Zamboanga City to an unknown destination, crashed in a rubber plantation in Barangay Upper Manggas in Lantawan around 1 p.m.

Authorities said the chopper went down during a bad weather but investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing.

They are also verifying the identities of the fatalities and whether they were all Air Force personnel. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)

AFP to monitor social media to prevent recruitment of young suicide bombers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 4, 2020

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is eyeing to monitor social media, evacuation centers, schools, and orphanages to help prevent terrorists to recruit the youth and train them as suicide bombers.

In an interview on ‘Get it Straight with Daniel Razon’, AFP Spokesperson MGen. Edgard Arevalo said there is a risk that the youth would be easier to be persuaded by the radicalized ideas of terrorist groups.

Nakikipagtulungan tayo sa mga local government officials upang ito ay maagapan natin na hindi makapasok na maaring mag-recruit at lumason sa kanilang isipan (We are coordinating with local government officials to prevent terrorists from recruiting and poisoning the youth’s minds),” he said.

The AFP also advised parents to also monitor their children and be aware of their activities.

Meanwhile, Arevalo expressed his gratitude to several LGUs in Sulu that declared the Abu Sayyaf Group as persona non grata.

From 1991 to June 2020, around 100 suicide bombing incidents were recorded in Sulu. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

DOTr-MRT 3: ‘Suicide bomber’ caught in Taft Avenue part of security test

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 22, 2020

The Department of Transportation Metro Rail Transit (DOTr-MRT 3) clarified that the reports about a suicide bomber caught in Taft Avenue is only a part of their penetration test.

The DOTr-MRT 3 assured passengers that there was no real suicide bomber caught in Taft Avenue on Wednesday (January 22).

In a Facebook post, the department clarified it was only a part of their penetration test which aims to measure the alertness of security personnel in all MRT 3 stations.

“Wala pong dapat ipag-alala ang aming mga pasahero sapagkat ito ay isa lamang ‘penetration test’ na ginawa ng Philippine National Police (PNP) kahapon, 21 Enero 2020, 2:20 p.m. sa MRT-3 Cubao station, (Our passengers have nothing to worry about because this only a part of our ‘penetration test’ conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday, 21 January 2020, 2:20 p.m. at MRT-3 Cubao station)” their post reads.

The DOTr-MRT 3 reminds passengers not to easily believe in ‘fake news’ or wrong information circulating on social media. Passengers were also reminded to verify the information they receive and check with legitimate sources.—AAC

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