Cop, soldier, baby killed; 9 others injured in series of NPA attacks

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 12 Nov) —  Suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA)  attacked a military reconnaissance patrol in the hinterlands south of Iligan City on Sunday afternoon, leaving an Army sergeant dead and his companion wounded.

It was the latest in a series of attacks that communist rebels launched starting last Thursday in nearby villages bordering the provinces of Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte that killed three persons — a police officer, an Army sergeant and a four-year old baby — and injured nine others — an Army corporal, five civilians and three police officers.

Members of the New People’s Army of Northern Mindanao Guerilla Front 68 in formation during a ceremony in Barangay Tikalaan, Talakag town in Bukidnon in this file photo taken last April 17, 2017 when the NPA released a police officer it held captive. MIndaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Capt. Norman Tagros, 403rd Infantry Brigade spokesperson said an NPA ambush killed policeman and a four-month-old baby girl in Barangay Tikalaan, Talakag town in Bukidnon last Thursday.

Tagros said the baby girl was with her mother on a Toyota Fortuner that was following a police vehicle.

He said the girl’s mother was unscathed but her five other civilian companions were wounded in the attack.

Tagros said the target of the NPA ambush — a police Mahindra vehicle —  crashed into a roadside ditch killing  Senior Police Officer 3 Arnel Carillo.

Last Saturday, Tagros said the NPA ambushed another police vehicle carrying a team of forensic investigators who had just come to examine the ambush site in Barangay Tikalaan, wounding three officers.

In a statement, the NPA’s North Central Mindanao Region Command owned responsibility for the series of attacks but was silent on the death of the baby girl and the wounding of civilians.

NPA-NCMR spokesperson Malem Mabini said an NPA unit staged a successful ambush on a police vehicle, wounding allegedly the police chief and several of his police officers.

Mabini said the NPA was able to strip the firearms of the wounded policemen.

He said they are still waiting for the comprehensive report from the NPA unit regarding media reports of civilian casualties.

In the latest attack last Sunday, Col. Alex Aduca, commanding officer of the 4th Army Mechanized Battalion said TSgt Edgar Andal and Corporal Raymart Pamplona were checking the road from Iligan City to Talakag town when they came upon a checkpoint manned by the rebels.

Aduca said his men tried to turn back but the rebels fired at them killing Andal and wounding Pamplona.

“They were checking the road to see if it is still passable for our vehicles because it rained hard for several days,” Aduca said.

Aduca said they believed the rebels who staged the series of attacks belong to one group, the NPA 68thGuerilla Front known to be operating in the villages bordering the Lanao del Norte and Bukidnon provinces. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)