Friday, May 2, 2014

6 soldiers killed, 15 hurt in NPA attacks in Ilocos Sur

From the Philippine Star (May 3): 6 soldiers killed, 15 hurt in NPA attacks in Ilocos Sur

Six government troopers have been killed while at least 15 others have been wounded in separate attacks by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in far-flung mountain villages in Ilocos Sur since Thursday.

The latest attack, according to reports, claimed the lives of three Army soldiers who were waylaid by communist rebels, believed to belong to the NPA’s Kilusang Larangang Gerilya, while they were patrolling in Barangay Malideg, Quirino town yesterday morning.

At least 13 soldiers, reportedly all belonging to the 50th Infantry Battalion of the Army’s Isabela-based 5th Infantry Division, were also wounded in attack.

The soldiers’ identities, however, were not immediately made available, as military authorities have yet to inform their families.

Pursuit operations by joint Army and police operatives were ongoing as of press time.

Three other Army soldiers, also from the 50th IB, were slain and two colleagues were wounded in an NPA ambush in adjoining Cervantes town on Thursday.

The Army said its troops were on their way back to their camp from a “bayanihan activity” in Sitio Daing when they were waylaid by guerrillas in the remote mountain area at around 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Reports identified the fatalities in the Cervantes attack as Cpl. Edward Ryan Pingel and Pfcs. Ralph Henry Balungot and Joey Labert Alejandro, and those wounded as Pfcs. Arnel Parungao and Rommel Pilien.

Although outnumbered, the 5th ID said its troops, on board a KM450 vehicle, still managed to fire back, which also led to their recovery of a .45-caliber pistol, four spent M-16 Armalite shells, and fragments from an explosive device.

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