3 soldiers dead, 1 wounded in landmine blast in N Cotabato
COTABATO, Philippines – Three Army soldiers were killed while another was wounded in a landmine attack by suspected communist rebels in Noth Cotabato on Wednesday, May 6.
Troops under the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion were conducting security patrol Wednesday at 4 pm in the remote village of Kabalantian of Arakan town when they encountered heavily-armed New People's Army rebels, according to Chief Inspector Bernard Tayum, provincial police spokesman.
Tayum said the soldiers were killed as their unit was pulling out from the encounter area and hit a landmine reportedly planted by the guerrillas.
“Three soldiers died in that incident. They sustained severe shrapnel wounds in their heads and bodies,” he said. Tayum identified the fatalities as Private First Class Callano, Kilangit and Manampan.
The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been waging a guerrilla war for 4 decades.
Military estimates put NPA strength at more than 5,000 men scattered in more than 60 guerrilla fronts throughout the country.
Peace talks between the Aquino government and the leftists bogged down last year. – Jeoffrey Maitem/Rappler.com