Communist rebels in the Philippines smeared a roadside bomb that injured seven soldiers with human faeces and snake venom, the military said Wednesday.
The wounded soldiers tested positive for potentially deadly bacteria, said Lieutenant Victor Dado, medical officer at the military hospital where the men were taken for treatment following Tuesday’s attack.
“We found (the bacteria in) the wounds of the soldiers during examination and treatment yesterday morning. It will aggravate the effects of the landmines,” Dado said in a statement.
The soldiers were hit by a roadside bomb during a pre-dawn patrol against New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas near the town of Pantukan on Tuesday, he added.
The NPA, the militant wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been waging an armed campaign in the Philippines since 1969, in which at least 30,000 people have been killed according to the government.
While the NPA ranks have dropped to about 4,000 fighters from a peak of 26,000 in the 1980s, the rebels are still capable of mounting deadly attacks, especially in rural areas where isolated military and police units and businesses are targeted.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd had been aiming to end the rebellion before his six-year term expires in 2016, but the government said in April that peace talks had collapsed.
The government blamed repeated demands by the NPA for comrades to be released from jail, as well as frequent attacks, for the failure of the talks.