SEVEN soldiers were wounded when they were hit by a landmine planted by suspected members of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) the other day in Agusan del Norte.
1Lt. Tere Ingete, spokesperson of 4th Infantry Division, said the identities of the wounded soldiers were not yet available as of press time.
Ingete said the explosion occurred at 3:45 p.m. in Sitio Afga, Bgy. Liower Olave, Buenavista.
Elements of the Army’s 23rd IB were attacked by rebels led by alias Yolly of Guerilla Front Committee 4A (GF4A) of North Central Mindanao Regional Command.
A firefight ensued and a landmine exploded that hit the soldiers, who suffered minor bruises from shrapnel. They were evacuated from the encounter site.
Lt.Col. Francisco Molina Jr., commanding officer of 23rd IB, said the NPA violated International Humanitarian Law by using landmines that caused severe damage to persons.
“Incidents like this, will not shake our will to fight. In fact, it will push our troops to exert more effort. We have information from a concerned citizen that there have been NPA terrorists in their area, which is the main reason why 23IB launched an operation more than a week ago,” Molina said.
Prior to the incident, troops already encountered the same NPA terrorist group of alias Yolly in Sitio Bulak.
The firefight lasted for 30 minutes with some 15 members of GF4A.
After the encounter, troops found an NPA terrorist body with his M4 rifle.
The body was identified by the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Region (RMP-NMR) as Rex Hangadon, 23, a Lumad farmer.
Recovered at the encounter site were four cellphones, seven SIM cards, two memory cards with NPA pictures and videos, a short mag for M-16 with 18 live ammo, subversive CNTs documents and a small solar panel.