Gov't militia killed, one hurt, in South Cotabato landmine attack
KORONADAL CITY, Philippines – A government militia was killed while another was wounded Sunday, March 29, in a landmine attack by suspected leftist rebels in a South Cotabato town as the communist group celebrated their anniversary, a military official said.
Lt. Col Ronald Jess Alcudia, commander of 27th Infantry Battalion, said state militias were patrolling the outskirts of the Tboli town proper when a landmine exploded in their path.
Alcudia said one of the militias saw a banner of New People's Army (NPA) left on one of the side of the road, and when he picked it up the explosion occured.
The blast caused by a boobytrap, according to Alcudia, left one of their village patrollers dead and another wounded.
The incident occurred as the NPA celebrated its 46th anniversary. The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been waging a guerrilla campaign in the countryside for more than 4 decades.
Military estimates place the NPA strength at more than 5,000 men scattered in more than 60 guerrilla fronts throughout the country.
Peace talks between the government and the leftists bogged down in 2004 after the United States included the NPA and its parent body in its list of foreign terrorist organizations. – Jeoffrey Maitem / Rappler.com