3 soldiers killed, 6 hurt in NPA landmine attack in Northern Samar

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Three soldiers were killed and six others wounded after the New People’s Army (NPA) detonated a landmine in Barangay Bugtosan, Las Navas town, Northern Samar last June 10.

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Reports forwarded Friday by Major Amado Gutierrez, 8th Infantry Division spokesperson, said all the casualties are from the 34th Infantry Battalion.

He added that the landmine attack took place 11: 20 a.m.

The blast was only 700 meters away from populated area. The soldiers were on security operations when waylaid by the NPAs.

After the explosion, a 25-minute firefight ensued until the NPAs withdrew.

Identities of the government casualties were withheld for the meantime as their families are still being notified.

Recovered from the scene of the encounter were five improvised explosive device, five electrical blasting caps, 1,500 meters electrical wire and two back packs.

Gutierrez said this latest landmine attack is a clear violation of Part III, Article 3, No. 15 of Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) that specifically prohibits the use of landmine.

The government and the national democratic front (NDF) which represents the communist party of the Philippines and the new people’s army signed CARHRIHL on March 16, 1998.

Landmine not only posed danger to military personnel, but more so, it endangers the lives of innocent civilians who regularly and unwittingly pass by the road where landmines are planted such as the landmine blast that occurred in Brgy Bugtosan Las Navas, Northern Samar which was only around 700 meters from the populace.

The NPA action of using landmines runs contrary to the provision of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction; otherwise known as Ottawa Treaty.

It was signed and ratified by 161 United Nation’s member states and bound themselves not to use anti-personnel mines and not to develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, anti-personnel mines as cited in Article 1, Number 1a and Number 1b of the treaty. PNA

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