DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Three were killed – a 12-year-old child, a soldier and a rebel – in a clash between soldiers and communist guerrillas in San Fernando, Bukidnon on Sunday afternoon, June 14.
Allan Juanito, spokesperson of the NPA’s North Central Mindanao regional command, said the rebels’ South Central Bukidnon sub-regional command staged a “surprise raid” at a camp of the Philippine Army’s 68th infantry battalion in Sitio Mahayag, Barangay Namnam at around 3:30 pm Sunday.
The soldiers were able to fight back but immediately fled after sustaining casualties, Juanito said.
He said that a rebel and a soldier died while 3 others were wounded.
But a 12-year-old child was also killed in the crossfire, he said.
“We regret this unintended death and we shall exhaust all effort to contact the family of the child and extend to them proper assistance for the burial of the child as well as indemnification. In relation to this, we remind the barrio folk to assert that soldiers must not camp in or near their domiciles in accordance [with] the rules of conflict. In doing so, unfortunate incidents of civilian deaths will be avoided in the future,” Juanito said.
The communist guerrillas said they were able to seize 10 of the soldiers’ high-powered firearms including a Minimi machine gun, 5 M14 rifles, 3 M16 rifles and an M203 grenade launcher.
Juanito said the rebels also carted away with two .45 pistols, a .38 revolver, a Harris radio, ammunition vests, binoculars and military packs.
The province of Bukidnon is a known hotbed of the NPA, which has been waging Asia’s longest running insurgency. – Rappler.com
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