Rifle grenade fired at Army’s outreach drive in North Cotabato village
KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines – Suspected communist rebels on Wednesday night fired a rifle grenade near the barangay hall of a remote village of Magpet, North Cotabato, in a futile effort to drive away government forces.
Colonel Nilo Vinluan, 57th Infantry Battalion commander, said the attack occurred at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Barangay (village) Balete where the military has been conducting a peace and development outreach program.
Nobody was hurt among civilians and military personnel.
The grenade, fired from an M-79 grenade launcher, landed on an old basketball court beside the barangay hall.
“It was a clear sabotage against the military’s peace and development outreach program,” Vinluan said.
“They do not want the soldiers in the area,” Vinluan added.
Vinluan has appealed to residents of Balete not to fear military personnel in their communities for they remain with the government and will protect the people.
“Fear the communist New People’s Army because they are not the armed forces of the government, they are making your life miserable by extortion, forced taxation and harassment,” Vinluan said.
The Magpet police have joined the military in investigating the grenade attack.
Three days ago, a soldier was wounded when NPA snipers fired at a platoon of 57th IB elements conducting patrol in the village of Batac, also in Magpet, a town situated on the foot of the country’s highest peak where the rebels operate.
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