Schoolchildren injured in airstrike on Islamic militants
Children were on a picnic nearby, says Philippine rights group
An MG-520 attack helicopter (picture: Facebook)
ucanews.com reporter, Basilan
January 7, 2014
Attack helicopters conducting an airstrike against Islamic rebels injured two schoolchildren on a picnic in Basilan province on Monday.
Some 70 students, teachers and parents were left “traumatized” after the military operation using MG-520 attack helicopters. Arkam Omar, 12, and Julia Hanon, 18, sustained “various injuries”, the Mindanao Human Rights Action Center said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Witnesses estimated that the airstrike lasted for about 30 minutes and the rockets fell about 30 meters from the victims,” it added.
Army spokesman Jefferson Somera said there were no civilians in the area when military intelligence personnel conducted an earlier reconnaissance operation to target Abu Sayyaf militants.
“The civilians went near the location of the Abu Sayyaf during the airstrike,” he said.
Prosecuters say no basis in allegations against activists helping displaced tribal people
Francisca Custodio wins Gawad Plaridel award for preserving cultural heritage
Catholic bishops in the Philippines accused of 'interfering in the politics in the country'
This is an urgent need because of the growing incidents of sexual offences, says Catholic nun
Dawood Ahmad was gunned down because of his religious beliefs, Pakistan's Ahmadiyya community says