Rebels claim killing 3 soldiers in Davao del Norte
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Communist rebels said Friday they had killed three soldiers in a land mine explosion in a remote area of Talaingod in Davao del Norte, but the military immediately denied the claim.
Aris Francisco, spokesperson of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the area, said in a statement e-mailed to media offices that the land mine the rebels detonated on May 22 wounded “scores” of other soldiers.
“The combat troops were part of the troops-contingent that immediately conducted military operations after the release of (Cpl. Rogelio Rosales) on May 19,” he said, referring to a soldier the rebels had released and turned over to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
But the military denied that it suffered heavy losses in Talaingod on May 22.
Capt. Ernest Carolina confirmed though that eight people, including four civilians, were injured in a land mine in Monkayo, Compostela Valley, on Friday.
Carolina, spokesperson of the army’s 10th Infantry Division, said the explosion damaged a patrol car of the Monkayo police and wounded its driver and three civilians in the vehicle.
The blast occurred around 8:40 a.m. Upper Ulip, Carolina said.
Monkayo police were investigating the burning of a bulldozer owned by local gold miner Candido Balunos when the explosion occurred.
Also injured by the explosion were three members of the local community watch and an unidentified village council member.
Carolina also admitted that two other soldiers were injured in a May 19 NPA land mine explosion in Paquibato. “But there, nobody was killed,” he said.
Meanwhile, military bomb experts safely detonated four landmines that soldiers found on roads in Makilala, North Cotabato, on Friday morning.
Lt. Aldrin Moral, civil-military operations officer of the Army’s 39thInfantry Battalion, said the land mines could have been intended for military personnel using the roads but could harm civilians as well.
On Wednesday, military bomb experts also successfully detonated two improvised explosive devices planted on a road in President Roxas, North Cotabato, a day after a foiled attack on the town’s police station in which five rebels were killed.
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