2 soldiers hurt in clash with rebels

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

TWO soldiers were wounded in an encounter with suspected communist rebels in Paquibato District, Davao City Saturday morning.

Lt. Col. Norman Zuniega, spokesperson for the Army's 10th Infantry Division, said they have yet to identify the soldiers.

Zuniega said the incident happened around 5:38 a.m. while the soldiers were preparing for the culmination of a three-day Peace Building Summit in Paquibato. The summit was organized by government forces in coordination with the local government unit.


"At around 4 a.m., a team of soldiers from the 69th Infantry Battalion (IB) were sent to patrol at sitio Mangga in Barangay Malabog in Paquibato, after the battalion received information about a landmine said to have been planted by the NPA (New People's Army) in the area," Zuniega said.

Zuniega said the team encountered around seven communist rebels along the route for about 10 minutes. He added that two soldiers were slightly wounded with shrapnel shells after the rebels detonated a landmine.

The soldiers recovered a 100-meter long blasting wire in the area. Lt. Colonel Rodney Intal, 69th IB commander, on the other hand, said this is again a deliberate attempt of the NPA to disturb the peace and development in the area.

"But still the success of the peace building activity indicates that we are making progress," Intal said.

Intal also commended the community for their cooperation and coordination.

"We really appreciate this kind of support from the community. It is a lot more acceptable that soldiers get hurt by these landmines rather than if civilians will get hit, which was a huge possibility this morning because of today's culminating activity," Intal said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 18, 2014.

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