MANILA, July 13 (Xinhua) -- A government soldier died and five others were injured in Lanao del Sur, southern Philippines, when they were attacked Monday by armed men believed to responsible in the kidnapping of the son of Commission on Elections commissioner Elias Yusoph last month.
Maj. Gen. Romeo Lustestica, commander of the Army's 2nd Infantry Division, said Tuesday that the soldiers, members of the 51st Infantry Battalion, were aboard a military vehicle, when they were ambushed by about five to eight suspects at the vicinity of Gata village around 5:20 a.m.
Lustestica alleged that the attackers belong to the group of Dimaporo Dimasala, alias Commander Delta, whose group was responsible for the June 20 kidnapping of Yusoph's son, Nuraldin, in Marawi City. The suspects were demanding the nullification of the results of the May 10 elections in five towns in Lanao del Sur.
"We were thinking that one of the probable motives is diversionary tactic against our pursuing troops tasked to rescue the kidnap victim who is the son of commissioner Yusoph," he said.
The slain and wounded military personnel were all enlisted personnel, but Lustestica declined to reveal their names as he is yet to notify their families.