• 7 soldiers wounded in Philippine blast


    New People’s Army rebels set off a landmine on Tuesday and wounded 7 patrolling soldiers in the southern Philippines, officials said.

    Army Capt. Alberto Caber, chief information officer of the Eastern Mindanao Command, said the blast occurred in the village of Napnapan in Compostela Valley’s Pantukan town. He said the wounded soldiers were rescued and airlifted to a military hospital in Davao City.

    Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz 3rd, the regional military chief, accused the NPA of violating a comprehensive accord on human rights and international law. He also condemned the continued use by rebels of landmines which threaten the life of innocent civilians.

    “The continued use of landmines by the NPA is a violation of international accord than bans the use of such explosives because it also threatens the life of innocent people. We condemn the NPA,” Cruz told The Manila Times.

    Cruz also ordered security forces to stay vigilant against rebel attacks and for civilians to stay away in areas where the communist group is actively operating.

    “I directed ground troops to inspect the trails and road networks that are regularly being used by the communities to protect them from becoming victims of NPA atrocities,” he said.

    The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been fighting for decades now for a separate state in the country. AL JACINTO



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