ZAMBOANGA CITY: At least seven soldiers were wounded when a man lobbed a grenade on a military truck transporting troops Monday in Jolo town in Sulu province.
The soldiers were identified by the military as Sergeants Zandro Sambrano, Ferdinand Bisnar and Corporals Juanito Taguiam, Arth Manatad, Arnel Pascual, Louis Limmayog and Calpasi Olli.
They were brought to a military hospital in Jolo.
The troops had just arrived by boat in Jolo town, and were heading to their barracks, when the attack occurred at the port area, just several blocks from the police headquarters.
The soldiers – all members of the 4th Scout Ranger Battalion – were sent to the province to augment ground forces battling the Abu Sayyaf, that had pledged allegiance with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
No arrests were made, and security officials would not say if the attack was carried out by the jihadist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), which is holding several foreigners in the hinterlands and has threatened to execute one of them.
It was not immediately known why the police failed to detect or prevent the attack.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the daring attack.
Sulu is one of five provinces under the volatile Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Jolo Mayor Hussin Amin has not given any statement on the latest assault against the soldiers.
Grenade attacks and bombings continue to grip Sulu. Prior to the Monday bombing in Jolo, three rounds of M203 grenades were fired by unidentified suspects at a polling precinct during the conduct of the elections in Maimbung town. The attack wounded a poll watcher of ARMM gubernatorial candidate Sakur Tan.