COTABATO CITY — A 10-year-old girl and her seven-year-old sister were killed when a mortar shell believed to be an 81-mm bomb exploded in their house in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao on Sunday.
The incident, which occurred past 4:20 p.m. in Barangay Kitango, killed Aslamiya Tambak on the spot, while her younger sister Asnaida died in the hospital. Their mother Noraisa was critically wounded and brought to Cotabato Regional and Medical Center in Cotabato City together with eight more wounded victims.
According to Datu Saudi Ampatuan town administrator Musib Tan, the young victims were the children of a town hall employee, Boy Tambak, a radio operator and cameraman.
“The victims were inside their house watching TV when a loud explosion happened. Eleven persons were immediately brought to the nearby Maguindanao provincial hospital,” Tan said.
He added that earlier in the day, a gunfight could be heard in nearby Barangay Ilian where 57th Infantry battalion troops have been battling Dawlah Islamiya Mindanao and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters since the past day.
“Four of the military detachment in the area were simultaneously harassed every day and night. The military told me it would be impossible they could make mistakes in coordinates as they aimed it only in enemy position,” said Tan.
A police station in the next town of Datu Salibo was also planted with an improvised explosive device (IED) few days ago.
The situation in the area remains volatile at the moment as residents have started to flee, fearing another exchange of fire between government troops and lawless elements. — BM, GMA News