At least 6 killed, 12 hurt in ComVal clash between soldiers, NPA
TAGUM CITY—Clashes between government troops and New People’s Army (NPA) rebels had killed at least six people in Compostela Valley, the military said on Saturday.
The fighting that started since Thursday in the mining towns of Monkayo and Maragusan also left 12 soldiers wounded, according to Capt. Rhyan Batchar, the public affairs officer of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division.
Batchar said four soldiers and two communist rebels were killed in the clashes that started on Thursday afternoon, when armed insurgents ambushed troops from the Army’s 25th Infantry Battalion in Kilometer 56 in Barangay Rizal in Monkayo, also wounding two soldiers.
On Friday, around 7:50 a.m., pursuing troops were waylaid in the same village by about 60 NPA rebels, who set off improvised bombs.
Three soldiers died and 10 others were wounded.
A female rebel was also killed while three others were captured during the incident, one of whom was wounded and given first aid by soldiers, Batchar said.
Another soldier was killed when yet another firefight erupted past 1 p.m also on Friday, in Parasanon village in Maragusan town, more than 50 kilometers west of Monkayo. The body of a suspected rebel was recovered as well as a Carbine rifle and an improvised explosive device (IED) after the Parasanon incident, Batchar said.
The clashes came over a week after President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the government’s unilateral ceasefire with the communists.
Maj. General Rafael Valencia, commander of 10th Infantry Division, which has jurisdiction over Compostela Valley, said the latest incidents only underscored the urgency to “end these senseless violence” as “all those who died and wounded were Filipinos.”
Valencia said the Armed Forces join the Filipinos’ cry for peace through peace negotiations with the rebels.
“(But) the soldiers will not hesitate to use legitimate force to protect communities and the people from any armed group that terrorizes them,” Valencia said, adding that pursuit operations against the NPA rebels involved in the clashes would continue.
Compostela Valley Gov. Tyrone Uy also said the violence between soldiers and rebels should be put to an end because it is the civilians who were suffering.
“We should continue with the peace process,” he said.
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