Army, militiamen repulse NPA attempt to overrun NorCot camp

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TULUNAN, North Cotabato: Communist rebels tried, but failed to overrun a military installation in a far-flung village here Sunday night, police said.

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About 30 heavily armed New Peoples’ Army armed with rifle grenades and assault rifles surrounded a military detachment in Barangay Lampagang, Tulunan, North Cotabato and simultaneously opened fire at past 8 p.m.

Alert militiamen and soldiers returned fire, triggering a 15-minute fire fight until the attackers fled when reinforcement from the 39th Infantry Battalion arrived, according to Senior Insp. Rolando Dillera.

”Nobody was hurt in the incident on the government side,” Dillera said, adding that it was uncertain if the attackers suffered fatalities.

Dillera said the attackers belonged to the Front 72 Far South Mindanao region who have been opposed to the military’s peace and development outreach program (PDOP) in Tulunan’s remote villages.

The Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion had been conducting PDOP in at least 17 communities in Tulunan to help villagers fight poverty and ensure development.

More than two dozens of NPA initiated attacks have been recorded by police in Tulunan and nearby town of Makilala, known NPA infiltrated towns.

Tulunan, a second class municipality in the province of Cotabato with a population of 54,884 people based on the 2010 census. Most of its 29 villages were believed to have been infiltrated by communist guerrillas operating in the borders of North Cotabato and Davao del Sur. PNA

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