Explosive recovered from Army-NPA clash in Albay
NAGA CITY, Philippines – State forces recovered a landmine left behind by retreating communist rebels following a firefight with soldiers in Albay on Sunday morning, the military said.
Major Angelo Guzman, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) based in Lucena City, said the improvised explosive device, classified as a landmine, was found after a group of soldiers under the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Battalion engaged a band of suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in a five-minute firefight in a forested area of Barangay (village) Bololo, Guinobatan, Albay around 6:40 a.m. Sunday.
He said the soldiers were on patrol when they clashed with about five unidentified armed men. No one was hurt in the encounter.
He said the suspected rebels might have unintentionally left the explosive as they withdrew. It was still unknown if the landmine was an anti-personnel or anti-vehicle type of explosive.
Lieutenant Colonel Perfecto Peñaredondo, commanding officer of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, immediately deployed other troops to pursue the rebels, Guzman said.
He added that the use of landmines by the suspected NPAs has been violating the Geneva Convention, the international law on the conduct of armed conflicts, and the Comprehensive Agreement for Respect to Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, an agreement signed between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines, whose peace negotiations with the government has been stalled.
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