Monday, June 15, 2009

2 army officers killed in rebel attacks in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 15, 2009) – Communist rebels killed an army officer and wounded an infantryman in a clash Monday in the southern Philippines, officials said.

Officials said the soldiers encountered members of the New People’s Army in Davao del Norte’s Talaingod town and a firefight ensued. “One of our officers was killed and a foot soldier wounded in the fighting,” said Captain Rosa Maria Cristina Manuel, a spokeswoman for the Army’s 10th Infantry Division.

She said the clash erupted in the village of Dagohoy. It was not immediately known if there were enemies killed in the fighting, but it was the second time that NPA rebels attacked and killed an army officer in a span of 24 hours.

On Sunday, communist rebels set off an improvised explosive, killing an army officer and wounding three other soldiers in the village of Bantwan in Davao Oriental’s Baganga town where troops were tracking down NPA fighters.

“The soldiers stepped on a claymore mine while responding from calls by residents that NPA rebels were in the area. One of our officers was killed and three others were wounded,” Manuel said.

Manuel did not release the ranks and names of the soldiers, but other military sources said the slain officer was deployed with the 67th Infantry Battalion. The wounded soldiers were identified as Private First Class Marvin Parreno, Paul John Fornis and Private Jerry Lagayan.

Manuel has tagged rebel commanders Dominiciano Moya, Floro Mamaumbong and Samay as behind the attack.

Major General Reynaldo Mapagu, a regional army commander, said security forces were pursuing the NPA forces responsible in the two attacks. “The incidents did not affect the morale of the operating troops, but more they became aggressive and committed to punish the perpetrators,” he said.

The NPA broke off peace talks with Manila in 2004 after both sides failed to sign a deal that would put an end to more than four decades of insurgency in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)

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