Army exec, soldier killed in NPA landmine blast
BAYUGAN CITY, Agusan del Sur — An Army lieutenant and a sergeant were killed while three other soldiers were wounded by a landmine explosion planted by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels at the height of skirmishes on Thursday in the hinterland village of San Juan here, the military reported Saturday.
A military report said the victims were hit when the NPA guerrillas detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) while both camps were engaged in a 20-minute firefight in the subvillage of Bungkulan.
Killed by the explosion were First Lieutenant Rod Michael Aspiras and Sergeant Ruben Canoy, First Lt. Tere Ingente, spokesperson of the 4th Infantry Division in Cagayan de Oro City, said.
Wounded were Corporal Rhuel Apura, Cpl. Roceller Guirero and Private First Class Christian Levi Penus.
But the NPA refuted the military report claiming 27 soldiers from the 3rd Special Forces Battalion, 29th Infantry Battalion and 36th IB and militiamen were killed in their series of offensives from July 5 to 12.
Ka Ariel Montero, spokesman of the NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee, said they detonated the landmines to send a message to the July 23 state of the nation address of President Duterte.
Soldiers of the 36th Infantry Battalion were on security patrol when it clashed with about 15 NPA members in Bungkulan at 4:50 p.m. on July 19.
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