LEGAZPI CITY, May 9 (PNA) -- Two Army officers were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded on Monday, hitting the military truck they were riding along the road in Barangay (village) Pangi, Matnog town in Sorsogon, an official of the Philippine Army (PA) Southern Luzon Command (Slcom) said.
Hit by shrapnel during the explosion were 2nd Lt. Ariel Cayton and Army Sgt. Joventico Cerafica, Army Lieutenant Col. Angelo Guzman, Slocom spokesperson, said.
In a phone interview, Guzman said the landmine that was planted by members of the New People Army (NPA) was intended for the Army Quick Reaction Force who were clearing the road for the safe passage of transport vehicles of various Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) that would bring the election paraphernalia and vote counting machines once the elections end at 5 p.m. Monday to the Matnog town hall.
The explosion, which occurred at about 3:45 p.m Monday at sitio (sub-village) Colonia, Barangay Pangi, in Matnog, was followed by a four-minute firefight between the Army soldiers and the NPA rebels who later fled towards the mountainous area of the village.
The two Army officer, who sustained shrapnel wounds, were rushed to the Sorsogon Doctors Hospital in Sorsogon City for treatment, Guzman said.
Reinforcing soldiers were still in hot pursuit operation as of press time. (PNA) RMA/FGS/MSA/CBD