6 SAF members wounded in NPA ambush in Antipolo
SAN PEDRO CITY (Updated) — Six members of the police Special Action Force (SAF) were wounded in an ambush by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Antipolo City in Rizal province on Sunday morning.
Rizal police director Sr. Supt. Albert Ocon said the ambush took place between 7 to 8 a.m. in Barangay (village) San Jose, where a SAF base is located.
According to Ocon, a two-vehicle convoy carrying SAF members “came from the highway and were on their way back to their office” in Antipolo City when one of the vehicles took heavy gunfire from snipers.
Ocon said one of the SAF personnel was hit by a bullet as all the eight passengers jumped out of their vehicle. The five others “suffered from bruises and scratches” while the other two, initially reported missing, took cover behind trees and boulders.
“They (rebels) were firing from a higher ground. The two (SAF members) earlier reported missing came out from hiding when the (government) reinforcements came,” he said in a phone interview.
There was no encounter between the state forces and rebels.
Ocon said three of the wounded personnel were brought to a hospital in the police headquarters in Camp Crame while the other three to a hospital in Marikina City.
In a statement, Armando “Ka Mando” Jacinto, spokesman of the NPA’s Rosario Lodronio Rosal Command, said communist guerillas from the Narciso Antazo Aramil Command staged the incident he called a “counter-attack” against patrolling police SAF team that was part of the combined police and military forces conducting counter-insurgency operation in the mountain villages of Antipolo City, Rodriguez, Baras and Tanay towns in Rizal province.
Jacinto said no rebels were wounded in the incident.
“The military-police counter-insurgency operations wreaks havoc on the lives and livelihood of Dumagat and Remontado tribesmen, settlers and farmers living in the mountain villages of Rizal province,” Jacinto said.
Officials have already set up various checkpoints around Rizal to arrest the gunmen. With a report from Faye Orellana/je
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