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1 soldier killed, 2 hurt in attack on Aurora mayor’s caravan

BAGUIO CITY—Armed men attacked military escorts of a humanitarian mission led by Dingalan town Mayor Sherwin Taay in Aurora province on Friday morning, killing a soldier and wounding two others.

Taay on Saturday said he may not have been the target of the gunmen, who fired at the last boat of an 11-boat caravan that sailed through the Umiray river to bring medical services to the sub-village of Sinagawan in Umiray village.

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The attack killed Pfc Reggie Aron, and injured a Sgt. Rosario and 2Lt. Ghelyn Batomalaque, leader of the escort team from the Charlie Company of the 56th Infantry Battalion, the mayor said.

The caravan was composed of doctors, volunteers and government employees, Taay said.

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Taay said he was on one of the 10 motor boats which docked on the shore before 8 a.m., bringing medicine and school supplies to the Sinagawan Elementary School.

“We were halfway with the program when we heard the shots at 8:30 p.m.,” he said in a telephone interview.

The last boat was composed of seven soldiers and a local resident who was piloting the boat, at a portion of the river near the border of Quezon province.

“We did not even know we had a last boat trailing the caravan until we were told it carried some of the military escort team,” Taay said. The last boat was 10 minutes away from the shore when the gunmen fired at the first three soldiers at the front of the boat, he said.

The mayor’s team proceeded with its medical mission but had shortened the activity, to enable the employees and volunteers to head back to the town center, after an augmentation team from the Army and the police secured the area.

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TAGS: Aurora, Dingalan, Sherwin Taay, Sinagawan, Umiray, Umiray River
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