ZAMBOANGA CITY: Communist rebels ambushed an army patrol on Saturday that resulted in the killing of a soldier and wounding two more in the town of Santa Cruz in the southern Filipino province of Davao del Sur, officials said.
Officials said the attack sparked a firefight in the village of Sinoron where troops from the 39th Infantry Battalion recovered an automatic rifle, ammunition and several improvised explosives left behind by members of the New People’s Army.
Army Capt. Alberto Caber, a spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command, said troops were sent to pursue the ambushers. “The soldiers recovered one M16A1 rifle, two rifle grenades, three unexploded improvised explosive devices, ammunition, assorted medicines, a radio transceiver, subversive documents and backpacks at the encounter site. Pursuit operations are on-going,” he said.
Caber said the wounded soldiers were rushed to Camp Panacan Station Hospital in Davao City.
The identities of the slain soldier and his wounded companions were not released to the media by the military, saying, their families would have to be informed first.
Caber, who cited alleged information from unnamed villagers, said four rebels were reportedly wounded in the fighting, but this could not be independently confirmed or may be part of a military propaganda to boost the morale of the troops.
The NPA has been fighting for many decades now for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country.