9 soldiers, Cafgus killed in NorthCot rebel attacks

TULUNAN, North Cotabato (MindaNews/21 Oct.) – Six Army personnel and three members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit were killed in two separate attacks by suspected New People’s Army in North Cotabato this morning.

The rebels used landmines in the attacks that took place in Tulunan and Makilala towns.

Mayor Lanie Candolada of Tulunan said the first incident happened in Barangay Bituon around 9:30 a.m. when soldiers on the way to send salaries for militiamen in nearby Barangay Bacong were ambushed.

Five Army soldiers and three Cafgus were killed instantly, according to Lt. Col. Noel de la Cruz, commander of the 57th Infantry Battalion.

At around 11 a.m. 57th IB troops from Makilala reinforced the unit in Tulunan.

But while traversing the road in Crossing Baguio, Barangay Luna Norte a landmine exploded on the roadside. The explosive was concealed by a campaign material that was hanged along the road, Capt. Nasrullah Sema said.

Sema said the rebels also fired at the soldiers killing one and wounding four others. The casualties were immediately brought to hospitals in Kidapawan City, the provincial capital.

The remains of the slain military personnel in Tulunan were airlifted around 3 p.m., de la Cruz said.

He added the attacks happened at a time that the military in the province has engaged in peace-building activities.

“Ano ba ang makukuha ninyo, ang mga biktima ay mga Pilipino rin,” he said. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)