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4 soldiers wounded in Isabela

ISABELA, Philippines – At least 4 soldiers were wounded by a landmine in Bgy Ibujan, San Mariano, Isabela during an encounter with communist rebels in the early morning of Friday, February 15.

The soldiers were part of the Army’s 86th Infantry Battalion who were conducting security operations ahead of the May 2013 elections. They received reports members of the communist New People's Army (NPA) were conducting extortion activities in the area. At around 1:00 am, they engaged rebels in a 30-minute firefight, according to Col Loreto Magundayao Jr of the 5th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office.

The army believes the landmine was planted by the communist rebels. They recovered used landmine detonating cords along with a magazine for an M16 rifle.

The wounded soldiers were evacuated to the nearest hospital and are in stable condition. The army is conducting "hot pursuit operations" against the rebels, according to a press statement.

The use of self-destructing landmines and other indiscriminate booby traps are prohibited under Protocol II of the 1980 Geneva Convention.

The Philippine military has repeatedly criticized the NPA for its continued use of landmines. The NPA claims that it only uses command-detonated explosives, which are not prohibited by the convention.

--------------------------------------------– | February 16, 2013 |

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