Thursday, April 15, 2010

Philippine troops capture NPA camp

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / April 15, 2010) – Philippine soldiers captured an encampment of communist rebels after a firefight Thursday in North Cotabato province in the troubled southern island of Mindanao, officials told the Mindanao Examiner.

Officials said the fighting forced the New People’s Army rebels to abandon the camp in the hinterland village of New Israel in Makilala town. “The fighting lasted for about ten minutes and the rebels fled leaving behind assorted materials in the manufacture of improvised explosives,” said Army Lieutenant Colonel Bernie Langub, commander of the 57th Infantry Battalion.

He said the camp has nine bunkers and foxholes and that troops recovered provisions and military uniforms.

“The presence of a battery switch, detonation cords, improvised explosives and 150 meters of electrical wires are proof that the NPA is a terrorist group behind the spate of attacks in Cotabato,” Langub said.

There were no reports of casualties in the fighting, but the province is a known lair of communist rebels blamed for the series of ambuscades and attacks on security forces in North Cotabato.

Rebel forces this month 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, rebels 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. (Geo Solmerano contributed to this report.)

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