Monday, April 12, 2010

3 soldiers die in NPA attack in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / April 12, 2010) – The Philippine Army has confirmed Monday the killings of three soldiers in a clash with communist rebels in the outskirts of Davao City in the restive region of Mindanao.

The soldiers – Corporal Moises Gaddawan, Private First Class Caesar Gadot and Glenn Haro – died as they were being airlifted to a military hospital in Davao City.

The New People’s Army rebels said the soldiers who were members of the 69th Infantry Battalion were ambushed Sunday in the village of Lumiad in Paquibato District.

Major General Carlos Holganza, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said the soldiers were patrolling the area after receiving reports that rebels were collecting money from political campaigners.

“This is part of our efforts to keep the election safe and secure. We have hit the main terror group which has been influencing the area and exploiting the people, we continue our incessant campaign to keep these terrorists on the run. We mourn the death of our comrades even as we take inspiration from the heroism and sacrifice they made to keep Davao free from terrorists’ influence,” Holganza said.

A rebel spokesman Simon Santiago said New People’s Army forces also attacked a military helicopter trying to provide cover to security reinforcements in the area.

“Members of the 1st Pulang Bagani Company-New People’s Army ambushed the 69th Infantry Battalion. The reinforcement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, a bomber-helicopter, was hit by the NPA and immediately retreated. Based on initial reports, NPA forces have recovered one high-power weapon from the enemy,” Santiago said.

Last week, rebel forces also killed a government soldier and wounded seven more in separate attacks in Montevista town in Compostela Valley province and in the town of Magpet in North Cotabato province.

Last month, NPA forces also attacked a military detachment in the village of Luz in North Cotabato’s Mlang town and killed a government militia and wounded two more before ransacking an army detachment and seized 35 assorted high powered weapons.

The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines which has been fighting for decades for the establishment of a communist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)

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