DAVAO CITY – Two government soldiers were killed and over a dozen others injured in roadside bombing in Davao City blamed by the Philippine military to communist rebels.
Army Major Ezra Balagtey, a spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command, said the ambush occurred in the village near Lamaman in Calinan district. He said troops returned fire and killed at least 2 New People’s Army rebels in ensuing fire fight.
The attack, he said, happened Thursday afternoon while a convoy of troops were pursuing NPA rebels who torched a pineapple harvester owned by Del Monte Philippines, Inc. in nearby village of Tawantawan.
“The encounter came after the NPAs detonated a landmine on a convoy of troops who are pursuing armed men who burned one pineapple harvester owned by Del Monte in Tawantawan, Calinan district,” Balagtey said. “Fifteen soldiers were wounded and two other soldiers killed as a result of the landmine explosion, while two NPAs were killed in the fire fight.”
He said soldiers also recovered an automatic pistol and a rifle, including two improvised explosives in the village. The NPA earlier attacked an army post in Paquibato District, just 33 kilometers from Calinan, and a gun battle ensued that killed one rebel, according to Balagtey.
More troops were sent to the areas to hunt down the rebels, said Brigadier General Gilbert Gapay, commander of an army task force. He also condemned the rebel attacks.
“We grieved for the death of our soldiers, and we salute them for their display of the finest tradition of soldiery, we see to it that their death will not be in vain, this will further motivate us to work for peace in this part of the country. Pursuit operations against these armed lawless group are being undertaken and we will continue to run after them to protect our communities, will not allow them to further carry out their terroristic act,” Gapay said.
The NPA has been fighting for the establishment of communist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)