Monday, January 23, 2012

Army denies NPA claim of killing 6 soldiers, wounding 16 others in Bukidnon

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The military denied claims made by the communist New People’s Army that six soldiers were killed and 16 others were wounded in two separate ambushes in Kitaotao, Bukidnon on Jan. 18.
Maj. Eugene Osias, spokesperson of the military’s 4th Infantry Division, said the NPA’s Merardo Arce Command’s a press statement was a “big joke.”
“That is impossible, we have all our soldiers accounted for,” Osias said.
The NPA said its forces ambushed a private vehicle, which had members of the Army’s 23rd Infantry Battalion at around 6 a.m. on Jan. 18. Three hours later, another team ambushed a convoy of 8th IB troops, the NPA claimed.
“It has no proof. It slightly injured four soldiers but no one was killed, contrary to the claim of the NPA,” Osias said.
The NPA said the Armed Forces of the Philippines hid the fatalities, allegedly as a standard operating procedure for troops to downplay casualties of war.
But Osias said they could not keep casualty count a secret because “our soldiers have families, and they surely deserve to know if something happened to them.
5:39 pm | Monday, January 23rd, 2012

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