NPA claims 10 soldiers killed, dozens hurt in separate clashes
DAVAO CITY—Communist rebels in Northern Mindanao claimed to have killed at least 10 soldiers and militiamen and wounded over a dozen others during separate clashes in the region during the past two weeks.
The Inquirer tried but failed to get any statement from the military. Calls to military officials assigned with the 4th Infantry Division in Cagayan de Oro City and the Eastern Mindanao Command based here went unanswered.
Allan Juanito, spokesperson of the NPA’s North Central Mindanao Command, said the attacks they conducted in the provinces of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, and Agusan del Sur also led to the capture of an Army sergeant.
He said the latest clash took place on Sept. 29 in Claveria, Misamis Oriental, when communist rebels staged a “counter-attack” against members of the 58th Infantry Battalion and militiamen.
“One Cafgu was killed and four members of the 58th IB were wounded on the said clash. Nothing was confiscated by the raiders and no casualties were suffered by the NPA,” Juanito said in a statement.
He said on Sept. 22, NPA rebels attacked members of the Army’s 1st Special Forces Battalion in Lantapan, Bukidnon, and killed one soldier. Three other soldiers were injured in the said attack, Juanito claimed.
On Sept. 21, Juanito said NPA fighters killed five soldiers during an attack in Barangay Balit in San Luis, Agusan del Sur.
Several others were also injured and were airlifted, he said.
The day before the Balit incident, the communist rebels detonated an explosive and hit a platoon from the 26th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Policarpo, also in San Luis town.
“Two regular soldiers under the 26th IB and a Civilian Armed Auxilliary (CAA) were killed and four suffered injuries during the attack,” he said.
Juanito said the government forces involved in the San Luis incidents were conducting a rescue operation to recover Sergeant Adriano de la Peña Bengil, whom the NPA captured on Sept. 19.
“He is a team leader of the Peace and Development Team under the 26th Infantry Battalion, which has been conducting community organizing,” Juanito said. Karlos Manlupig/RC
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