Monday, March 26, 2012

3 soldiers, 2 civilians wounded in Iloilo clash

ILOILO CITY, Philippines—At least three soldiers and two civilians were wounded when suspected New People’s Army rebels ambushed two military vehicles in a remote village in Tubungan, Iloilo Monday morning, three days before the NPA’s 43rd founding anniversary.

The suspected rebels, believed to be under the NPA’s Napoleon Tumagtang Command and the Southern Front Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines, fled to hinterland villages after a firefight in Barangay Ingay in Tubungan, 42 km south of Iloilo City, according to Maj. Enrico Gil Ileto, spokesperson of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID).

Around 18 soldiers belonging to the Army’s 82nd Infantry Battalion based in Miag-ao town in Iloilo were on board a 6-by-6 truck and a KM450 military vehicle when one of the trucks was hit by an explosion believed to be from an improvised explosive around 8 a.m. The suspected rebels subsequently opened fire on the soldiers.

A driver of a jeepney that was passing in the area and an elderly woman in a house near the ambush site suffered minor wounds after they were caught in the crossfire.

The identities of the wounded soldiers and civilians were still unavailable.

Two military helicopters and troops of the 3ID were sent to Tubungan and neighboring areas to pursue the suspected rebels.

Ileto said the vehicles were on their way to the town proper to bring trainees of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to Iloilo City.

The NPA, the CPP’s armed wing, will commemorate its 43rd founding anniversary on March 29.