DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 7, 2011) – A government and a pro-army militia were wounded after communist rebels detonated a landmine on Saturday in the southern Filipino province of Davao del Norte, officials said.
Officials said the soldiers were checking on the reported presence of New People’s Army rebels in the village of Palma Gil in Talaingod town when the explosion occurred. The soldiers were part of a peace and development team, said Lieutenant Colonel Lyndon Paniza, an army spokesman.
“Prior to the incident, concerned civilians informed our troops of the presence of the armed men intimidating the local residents. The soldiers were on their way to way to implement peace and development programs when they responded to the residents’ call,” Paniza said.
The rebels are fighting for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country and are currently negotiating peace with the Aquino government, but both sides have not signed a cease-fire accord and sporadic clashes still continue in many parts of the Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner)