COTABATO CITY (MindaNews13 June) – Two soldiers were killed and six others were wounded in an ambush Sunday by suspected communist rebels in Davao City, the Eastern Mindanao Command said.
The soldiers, all from the 16th Infantry Battalion, were responding to the reported presence of New People’s Army rebels in Paradise Embac village in Paquibato District when the ambush occurred.
Eastmincom spokesperson Major Ezra Balagtey said the attack fought back and recovered one automatic rifle, two jungle bags and a roll of electrical wire left behind by the rebels.
It was not known if the rebels sustained casualties.
“The troops were responding to a reported consolidation of NPAs planning to conduct atrocities in Paquibato District when they were fired upon that led to the intense exchange. Initially two soldiers were killed and six were wounded. They were all evacuated for medical attention,” Ezra said.
The fighting occurred a day after Army soldiers killed a rebel commander, Lupe Gamay, and his aide Raden Joshua, in a clash in Barangay Malasila, Makilala town in North Cotabato.
Soldiers recovered improvised explosives and a .45-caliber pistol from Gamay, believed to be a bomb expert.
The military earlier said that troops from the 39th Infantry Battalion arrested three alleged NPA rebels – Rudy Antiola, 57, Joy Ortiz, 19, and Christian John Balatero, 21 – in Kidapawan City, also in North Cotabato.
There was no immediate statement from the NPA which is currently negotiating peace with government. (Rhoderick Beñez/MindaNews)