ZAMBOANGA CITY: Two soldiers were killed and over a dozen others injured after an alleged communist group on Thursday ambushed a military convoy pursuing the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who burned a truck of a pineapple company in Davao City.
Army Major Ezra Balagtey, spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command, said the ambush took place in a village near Lamaman in Calinan district. He added that troops returned fire and killed at least two NPA rebels in ensuing firefight.
Balagtey said a landmine was detonated on a convoy of troops pursuing the rebels who torched a pineapple harvester owned by Del Monte Philippines Inc. in the nearby village of Tawantawan.
“Fifteen soldiers were wounded and two other soldiers were killed as a result of the landmine explosion, while two NPAs were killed in the firefight,” he added.
Also recovered in the village were an automatic pistol and a rifle, including two improvised explosives after the NPA earlier attacked an Army post in Paquibato district, about 33 kilometers from Calinan, and a gunbattle ensued that killed one rebel, according to Balagtey.
Brigadier General Gilbert Gapay, Army task force commander, said more troops were sent to the areas to hunt down the rebels.
“We grieve for the death of our soldiers, and we salute them for their display of the finest tradition of soldiery, we will see to it that their death will not be in vain, this will further motivate us to work for peace in this part of the country. Pursuit operations against these armed lawless group are being undertaken and we will continue to run after them to protect our communities, will not allow them to further carry out their terroristic act,” Gapay added.