The bombed out house of the slain Ramea Damada. (Courtesy of Mohaimen Lagensay Antao)

Pregnant mom killed by mortar in Maguindanao town

COTABATO CITY/Dec. 17 – A mortar fire killed a seven-month pregnant woman in Barangay Dabenayan, Mamasapano town in Maguindanao late Tuesday evening. Rabiyah Damada Lakim, 28 years old, was hit by a mortar shrapnel on her neck while on her way to nearby Barangay Libutan where they were supposed to seek refuge.

Ustaz Abas Panga, an uncle of the victim, said they decided to leave their house after two mortar fell near at 10:24 that night.

Panga, a teacher in the Madrasah Dar ul-Hijrah, an Arabic school, in Barangay Dabenayan, said military mortars hit their barangay and nearby villages nightly after some members of the Bangsamoro Freedom Fighters (BIFF) attacked Datu Piang town, also in Maguindanao, in the night of Dec. 3.

The victim was declared dead on arrival at the Maguindanao Provincial Hospital in Shariff Aguak town.

Panga said the mortar that hit the victim emanated from a military post in Barangay Sapakan, Rajah Buayan, also of Maguindanao.

Investigations on the said incident by the police and military authorities are now underway as ordered by Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of Army’s 6th Infantry Division and Brig. Gen. Samuel Rodriguez, police director for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).