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Rebels attack convoy in Cotabato

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Xinhua) - Suspected leftist rebels detonated two improvised bombs along a road in a southern Philippine city early today, barely missing a passing convoy of military and civilian vehicles, a military official said.

No one was hurt following the 6:25 a.m. blasts at San Mateo village, Kidapawan city, in Mindanao's North Cotabato province, " but several civilian commuters have been traumatized," according to Colonel Leopoldo Galon, Eastern Mindanao Command spokesperson.

The loud explosions rocked the village as a military truck carrying soldiers of the army's 57th Infantry Battalion, a mini- jeepney and two motorcycles full of civilians were passing by, said Galon.

"Everyone escaped the blasts but the civilian commuters were terrified," the military official told Xinhua by text message, adding the incident happened near a populated area just several kilometers from the city proper.

Galon suspected New People's Army rebels could be behind the latest attack as it happened just days after a series of clashes between government troops and the leftist rebels in the province that left six people dead.

He said the provincial army commander Colonel Cesar Sedillo was readying the filing of criminal charges against the NPA for allegedly employing landmines, long banned by the Ottawa Treaty which both the Philippine government and the insurgents' political umbrella Communist Party of the Philippines were signatories.

The 4,000-strong NPA is fighting a leftist insurgency in 60 Philippine provinces since March 29, 1969.

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The Philippine Star | April 1, 2012 | Article Link

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