DAVAO CITY – Communist rebels ambushed a group of soldiers on Sunday and killing two of them in Davao City, an army spokesman said, adding, six more were wounded in the attack.
The soldiers, all from the 16th Infantry Battalion, were responding to the presence of New People’s Army rebels in the village called Paradise Embac in Paquibato District when they came under fire.
Major Ezra Balagtey, of the Eastern Mindanao Command, said the attack sparked a firefight. He said troops recovered one automatic rifle, two jungle bags and a roll of electrical wire left behind by the rebels. It was unknown if there were casualties on the enemy side.
“The troops were responding to a reported consolidation of NPAs planning to conduct atrocities in Paquibato District when they were fired upon that led to the intense exchange. Initially two soldiers were killed and six were wounded. They were all evacuated for medical attention,” he said.
The fighting occurred a day after army soldiers killed a rebel commander, Lupe Gamay, and his aide Raden Joshua, in a clash in the village of Malasila in North Cotabato’s Makilala town. Soldiers also recovered improvised explosives and a .45-caliber pistol from Gamay, believed to be a bomb expert.
The military earlier said that troops from the 39th Infantry Battalion arrested 3 alleged NPA rebels – Rudy Antiola, 57, Joy Ortiz, 19, and Christian John Balatero, 21 – in Kidapawan City, also in North Cotabato.
There was no immediate statement from the NPA which is currently negotiating peace with Manila. The rebels are fighting for a separate Maoist state in the country. (With a report from Rhoderick Beñez)
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