The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines received reports that three journalists were wounded when two military choppers, one of which had members of media on board, were fired at by suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits in the island province of Basilan (southern Philippines). The incident occurred at around 10 AM today.
The journalists were members of the state-owned television network NBN 4. Maj. Gen. Dolorfino of the armed forces’ Western Mindanao Command said they sustained “splinter wounds” but no one was seriously wounded. A photographer from the Office of the Press Secretary was also wounded.
A Malacanang reporter told NUJP that the news team covered the flag raising ceremony in an Abu Sayyaf camp that was overran by government troops last week and was on its way back to Zamboanga City when the choppers met heavy fire.
The Huey helicopters made an emergency landing Barangay (village) Tumakid in Lamitan City because one of the choppers incurred a torn transmission oil line. They were reportedly flying low due to bad weather when hit.
(IFJ-NUJP Media Safety Office)
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