Monday, August 31, 2009

4 soldiers killed, 6 more wounded in rebel ambush in South RP

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / August 31, 2009) – Four government soldiers were killed in an ambush by communist rebels in the restive region of the southern Philippines.

The weekend attack also left six soldiers wounded in the village of Dalagdag in Davao City’s Calinan district, said New People’s Army rebel leader Leoncio Pitao.

Pitao said rebel forces also seized a machine gun from the soldiers belonging to the Army’s 69th Infantry Battalion.

“This recent NPA military offensive against the newly augmented 69th Infantry Battalion and the 10th Infantry Division fascists is a punitive action for the serious violations to human rights and international humanitarian law perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines against civilians in Davao hinterlands and provinces in Southern Mindanao,” said Pitao, who heads the NPA’s 1st Pulang Bagani Company.

He said the NPA continues to inflict heavy casualties on the military, despite the massive deployment of troops and militarization in the provinces.

“That the 10th Infantry Division-Armed Forces of the Philippines troops suffered heavy blows versus the people's army, despite the increasing number of its soldiers, nakedly shows the failure of the counter-revolutionary Oplan Bantay Laya II. It has utterly failed to stem the tide of the growing revolutionary movement in the face of intensive and extensive NPA tactical offensives in the region and elsewhere in the country,” Pitao said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.

There was no immediate statement from the military about the ambush.

The NPA is the armed wing of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines which has been waging a secessionist war the past four decades for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. Peace talks collapsed in 2004 after rebel leaders accused the Arroyo government of reneging on a deal, among others, that will free political detainees and stop extrajudicial killings of activists in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)

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