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Foreign birdwatchers caught in Bukidnon crossfire; none hurt

/ 06:44 PM February 13, 2015

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon, Philippines — A group of foreign birdwatchers got caught in a crossfire between soldiers and members of the New People Army on Friday morning at the foot of Mt. Kitanglad.

None of the foreign bird watchers – three Britons, three Danes and an Australian – were harmed but one of their Filipino guides was wounded in the crossfire, Insp. Giselle Longakit, spokesperson of the Bukidnon police office, said.

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Longakit identified the injured guide as Carlito Gayramara, who is now confined at the Bethyl Hospital here. It was not immediately known what type of bullet hit Gayramara and where it could have come from.

Lt. Col. Naser Lindasan, commander of the 1st Special Forces Battalion, said the foreigners were apparently birdwatching in Mt. Kitanglad when soldiers under his command clashed with the rebels at around 8:51 a.m.

He said this was the second clash on the said mountain since the Army launched an operation following the February 11 encounter that led to the death of a soldier.

Col. Jessie Alvarez, commander of the Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade, said the foreigners and their guides, along with Gayramara, had been extracted “by their local contact” from the area around 2 p.m., or some five hours later.

“They are well and unharmed,” he said of the foreigners, without providing additional details or their identities.

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TAGS: Birdwatching, Bukidnon, crossfire, Foreigners, Military, New People's Army, Regions
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