Boy, 2 soldiers killed in Compostela encounter


DAVAO CITY -- Two soldiers were killed while six others were wounded in separate encounters between government troops and the New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Mabini, Compostela Valley on Wednesday.

A nine-year-old boy was also killed in one of the encounters after getting caught in the crossfire.

The encounters took place a day after the communist rebels released PO3 Magno Nojapa Jr. in Mawab, also in Compostela Valley.

The first incident happened at sitio Darot in Barangay Libudon.

The military said troops belonging to the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion were conducting combat operation in the area when around 30 rebels detonated a landmine and opened fire at them.

An exchange of gunfire ensued, lasting for about an hour. Two soldiers were killed, while two other soldiers were wounded after they were hit by shrapnel from the landmine blast.

The commander of the 1001st Brigade, Colonel Angelito de Leon, lashed at the NPA rebels for using yet another landmine against the soldiers.

"These coward acts of the NPA are a deliberate violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). It is indicated in Part 2, Article 2 and 15 that use of landmines is strictly prohibited," De Leon said in a statement sent to Sun.Star Davao through email.

De Leon said the names of the victims will be disclosed after their families and relatives have been informed.

An hour and a half later, another encounter happened at sitio Kidaraan, Barangay Anitapan also in Mabini town.

Based on initial investigation conducted by Mabini police, Barangay Mascareg chieftain Dionisio Ganzon reported to their office that an encounter happened in the area around 6 p.m.

The soldiers belonging to the 71st Infantry Battalion (IB) were believed to have been fired upon by around 10 NPA members.

Further investigation revealed that a nine-year-old boy identified as Roque Antibo was killed while a 13-year-old boy identified as Jeffrey Hernan was wounded after getting caught in the crossfire.

Four other soldiers were wounded.

The commander of the 71st IB, Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Borja, said: "The troops conducted a combat operation after receiving reports regarding the presence of NPA in the community."

"These NPAs are once again terrorizing the populace to force the politicians to give in to their financial demands in relation to the upcoming election," he said. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)

Source http://www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/local-news/2013/04/04/boy-2-soldiers-killed-compostela-encounter-276000

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