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Army, NPA clash anew in Camarines Sur

LUCENA CITY–For the third straight day in Camarines Sur province, Army soldiers and New People’s Army (NPA) rebels engaged in another clash in Lagonoy town Wednesday morning.

Troops clashed with about 20 NPA guerrillas in Barangay Pinamihagan at 8:35 a.m., said Army 1st Lt. Felise Solano, deputy public information officer of the military’s Southern Luzon Command (Solcom).

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After a 15-minute firefight, the NPA rebels retreated in different directions and left behind an improvised landmine, communication equipment, medical supplies, documents and personal belongings.

“There are no casualties from the government troops while wounded armed men have been sighted fleeing from the encounter site,” Solano said in a statement.

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Hot pursuit operations were still ongoing as of Wednesday afternoon.

Lt. General Danilo Pamonag, Solcom commander, condemned the continued use of improvised explosive devices by the NPA rebels, which he pointed out was a violation of the International Humanitarian Law.

Pamonag noted that the Philippines is one of the signatories of the Geneva Convention and the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, where Protocol II prohibits and restricts the use of mines, booby traps and similar explosive devices.

Pamonag also cited the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHRIHL), signed by both the government and National Democratic Front of the Philippines in 1998 that prohibits the use of landmines and improvised explosive devices by armed combatants from both parties.

On Monday, NPA rebels left behind the body of their slain comrade after an encounter in Barangay Gubat also in Lagonoy.

The next morning, three still unidentified NPA guerrillas were slain in a clash with soldiers in Bato town.

Army soldiers also captured five NPA rebels, some of them wounded. The Solcom reported that one of the captured rebels was a 15-year-old boy./lb

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TAGS: AFP, Camarines Sur, Felise Solano, Firefight, NPA, SOLCOM
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