ZAMBOANGA CITY: At least 7 government soldiers were reported wounded in a clash on Friday with communist rebels in southern Philippines.
The soldiers were providing security to a police team serving an arrest warrant in the village of Balit in San Luis town when New People’s Army rebels ambushed them. The attack triggered a running gun battle in the village until rebel forces fled deeper into the hinterlands.
One policeman and a pro-government militia were also reported injured in the clash, but it was not immediately known if there were enemy casualties. Troops from the 4th Infantry Division were also sent to the area to track down the ambushers.
Captain Alberto Caber, a spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command, said they were awaiting formal reports from the 4th Infantry Division and could not say if there were rebels killed in the fighting.
“Wala pa kaming natatanggap na report mula sa 4th Infantry Division at hindi pa namin masabi kung may nasawi sa kabila [We are still awaiting reports from the 4th Infantry Division and we could not say if there were rebel casualties,]” Caber said.
The NPA did not issue any statement about the latest fighting, but the secessionist group have been waging war for decades now for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. AL JACINTO