DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 5, 2010) – Communist rebels have announced Sunday the killing of at least 5 government soldiers in fierce clashes in the southern Philippines.
The New People’s Army said at least 10 more soldiers were wounded in recent fighting in the village of Paloc in Compostela Valley’s Maragusan town. It also accused the 10th Infantry Division of covering up for the government’s casualties and for saying that 6 rebels had died from the clashes.
Daniel Ibarra, a spokesman for the NPA’s Rhyme Petalcorin Command, said only one rebel was killed in the fighting.
“There is no truth to these reports. The truth is that the 50-man column of the 5th Scout Ranger Company of the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion suffered heavy casualties resulting from the ambush by a platoon of Red fighters under the Rhyme Petalcorin Command Front 27 Operations Command-NPA.”
“At least five enemies were killed-in-action and another ten wounded-in-action. Three command-detonated claymore mines were switched, directly hitting the enemy,” Ibarra said.
He said the government troops have intensified their combat operations against rebel forces in Compostela Valley province and other areas in Mindanao, but he also warned the New People’s Army would also launch more offensives against military targets in the southern region.
“The incursions of 10th Infantry Division (forces) of the (Armed Forces of the Philippines) Eastern Mindanao Command in the guerilla bases and zones and their attacks against the toiling masses shall be punished accordingly,” Ibarra said.
The New People’s Army is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines which is fighting for decades for the establishment of a separate state in the country.
President Benigno Aquino III has reopened collapsed peace talks with the rebels in an effort to end bloody secessionist war in the Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner)