Monday, November 22, 2010

NPA rebels attack army patrol base in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 22, 2010) – Communist insurgents opened fire on a military patrol base in the southern Philippines and wounding a pro-government militia, officials said Monday.

Officials said the weekend attack occurred near a civilian community in Compostela Valley’s Nabunturan town and had put at risk the lives of villagers in the area.

“The New People’s Army fired from a position that will endanger the lives of the civilians which is a violation of the international human rights law,” said Lieutenant Colonel Medel Aguilar, a spokesman for the Army’s 10th Infantry Division.

It was unknown why the military put up a patrol base near a civilian area, but Aguilar said troops deployed in the town were also engaged in peace and development projects.

He said the attack sparked a five-minute gun battle between the two groups.

“As expected, the New People’s Army would launch violent actions to provoke our troops and divert our attention away from our community works. Our troops are prepared to counter their hostile actions to protect the civilian populace.”

“Their actions also bring untold suffering and discomfort to the people in the community which they will blame later to the presence of the military personnel conducting peace and development outreach program. These shrewd tactics will not succeed because our people know the NPA members are the ones creating trouble in the area,” Aguilar said.

The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is fighting for decades for the establishment of a separate Maoist state in the largely Catholic country. (Mindanao Examiner)

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