Saturday, March 13, 2010

Solder, Rebel Killed In Davao Clashes

A member of the Philippine Army’s Task Force Davao manning a checkpoint reacts on the presence of journalists Saturday, March 13, 2010 in the village of Toril in Davao City in Mindanao. The soldier warned journalists not to take photographs at the checkpoint for a still unknown reason. Communist rebels have killed one army soldier and injured three more in an attack at a village in Paquibato District in Davao City on Friday and another clash Saturday in Davao del Sur’s Santa Cruz town left one insurgent dead, security officials say. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 13, 2010) – A government soldier and communist rebel were killed in separate clashes in the southern Philippines, officials told the Mindanao Examiner on Saturday.

Officials said soldiers clashed with New People’s Army forces in Santa Cruz town in Davao del Sur province on Saturday and killing one rebel. The fighting broke out a day after rebels killed one government soldier and wounded three others in an attack Friday in Paquibato district in Davao City.

“There are operations in Davao area and troops are pursuing the NPA terrorists,” said Captain Emmanuel Garcia, a spokesman for the 10th Infantry Division.

He said soldiers recovered weapons and anti-government propaganda left behind by rebels in Davao del Sur.

Friday’s fighting in Davao City’s Paquibato district erupted after army soldiers pursued a band of rebels who held up political campaigners for House Speaker Prospero Nograles and his son Karlo Nograles. Both are running for elective post in May elections.

A member of the Philippine Army’s Task Force Davao manning a checkpoint Saturday, in the village of Toril in Davao City also warned journalists not to take photographs for a still unknown reason.

Garcia accused the rebels of harassing the political propagandists of Nograles, who is running for mayor in Davao City; and his son as congressman.

The military earlier accused the NPA of extorting money from politicians and their supporters while campaigning in areas where rebels are actively operating. It said the rebels were demanding as much as P5 million from politicians in exchange for safe passage.

The NPA is the armed wing of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines which broke off peace talks with Manila in 2004 after accusing President Gloria Arroyo of reneging on several humanitarian agreements.

The rebels have been fighting for decades for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)

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