Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Story of Sitio Tandu Pukut

June 15, 2008, three in the morning, the civilians of Sitio Tandu Pukut and Sitio Subah Timahu, Barangay Siyunugan, Indanan, Sulu were peacefully sleeping in their homes when intermittent loud sounds disturbed and woke them up. Realizing that the sources of the cacophony were not from mere ordinary sources but howitzer-cannon blast, the people, women and children, scurried here and there for cover. One of the explosives destroyed the electricity wiring of the SULECO that blacked-out the area which resulted to further confusion.

Some people took cover under huge trunks of tress; others beside huge rocks. As the explosion of bombs encircled them, they panicked and suffered abrasion all over their bodies. Even from their hiding places, they were shook and overthrown by the impact of the blasts. Some civilians were hit by shrapnel.
About four rocket launcher grenades and 23 howitzer-cannon shells (105/155) bombarded the area.

The bombardment stopped after 30 minutes. The civilians took advantage of the hiatus to evacuate the area for fear of a recurrent attack. They went to Barangay Siyunugan to the house of the community leader, Hadja Mariam Alama. But some brave civilians returned to their homes by five in the morning of the same day, June 15, 2008.

By daytime, the civilians witnessed so much destruction that the bombardment had caused. Their fishing boats (30 bancas) near the seashore were destroyed; their banana and coconut trees and root crops were mutilated; their houses were hit by shrapnel. Luckily, no houses were directly hit because most of the cannon shells exploded in the shore during high tide.

Four civilians, namely: Sarajan Makarram, Biya Bahari, Wawan Abdua, and Shernalyn Abdua came forward to report about their wound. The team brought the victims to the hospital for immediate check-up. Sarajan Makarram, however, refused to go to the hospital.

There were other wounded civilians but afraid or shy to come forward because they were hit in their private areas. Some women and children suffered abrasion all over their bodies.

The incident caused 69 households, 378 civilians to evacuate the place.

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