3 elite soldiers killed, 5 others hurt in Agusan del Sur ambush
MANILA, Philippines – At least 3 Army Scout Rangers were killed while 5 others were wounded in an ambush staged by communist guerrillas in the town of Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur on Saturday evening, March 14.
Col. Romeo Brawner Jr, spokesman of the military's Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), said a convoy of two KM250 and 3 KM450 trucks carrying members of the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion were responding to a threat in the village of Los Arcos when they were hit by an explosive detonated by members of the New People's Army (NPA).
After the blast, the communist guerrillas opened fire towards the position of the convoy where a firefight ensued and lasted for 30 minutes.
"While it is sad that we incurred casualties due to the landmine explosion, our troops fought gallantly and repulsed the ambush thereby preventing the NPAs from overrunning the convoy and inflicting more casualties." Lt General Aurelio Baladad, commander of the EastMinCom, said.
The military refused to divulge the names of the casualties because their families are yet to be informed about the incident.
The military recovered an undetonated explosive from the scene of the firefight after the rebels retreated from their positions.
Meanwhile, a cop was wounded in a separate ambush by the NPA in the village of Tigao, Cortes, Surigao del Sur on the same day.
"The police team were on their way back to the police station after responding on a vehicular accident at Barangay Matho," Brawner said.
Both the provinces of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur are known as hotbeds of the communist movement in the country.
The NPA is set to celebrate its 46th anniversary on March 29. – Rappler.com