Monday, July 3, 2017

Soldier killed, 11 hurt in encounter

From the Mindanao Times (Jul 3): Soldier killed, 11 hurt in encounter

A SOLDIER was killed and 11 others were wounded in a gunfight against communist rebels in Barangay Mt. Diwata, Monkayo, Compostela Valley on Saturday.

The encountered happened at around 1 p.m., three hours before President Rodrigo Duterte made an appeal to the New Peoples Army (NPA) to stop the fight in his speech during the 50th anniversary of Davao del Norte, in which Compostela Valley was carved out in 1998.

Soldiers belonging to the Army’s 25th Infantry Battalion encountered around 100 fully armed men, believed to be members of Sub Regional Command 1, Section Committee 20 and Guerilla Front 25 of NPA’s Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC), in Sitio Calaberahan, Mt. Diwata. The firefight lasted for an hour.
Lt. Col. Ismael Mandanas, 25th IB commander, said the NPAs were consolidating in the area.

“There’s a report that the NPA would conduct tactical offensive targeting business and government project in the area,” Mandanas said. “So our action was to preempt their plan of conducting major atrocity.”

He said the soldiers were already patrolling the area two days before the encounter.

The identities of the casualties were not released as their families are yet informed.

But Mandanas said the fatality was a corporal and among those wounded was a first lieutenant, the team leader.

“Those injured were just slightly wounded and are not in critical condition,” he said, adding that casualties were immediately brought to the Camp Panacan station hospital.

He said the soldiers were hurt when a landmine exploded as they approached the enemy’s position.

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