7 soldiers die in NPA ambush in Bontoc

July 9, 2010 9:41 pm 

MANILA, July 9 – Seven government soldiers, including a young officer, were killed in an ambush staged by communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Bontoc, Mt. Province shortly before noon Friday, a military commander said.

Col. Eliseo Posadas, commander of the Army’s 501st Brigade, said his men were aboard a military truck and were on the way to coordinate with civilians for an upcoming medical mission when they were waylaid between Talubin and Samoki villages at around 11:45 a.m.

Posadas named the slain officer only as one Lt. Punio, a company commander under the 52nd Division Reconnaissance Company.

“They were supposed to coordinate with the civilians for a Medcap (medical and dental action program) tomorrow when they were ambushed by the traitor-NPAs. They were riding in a vehicle (a truck) and all of them died,” said Posadas. He said the troops were coming from a nearby command post.

“They were not that far (from their command post) when they were ambushed,” said Posadas. He added that the rebels took the firearms of the soldiers but could not categorically say how many weapons were carted away by the insurgents.

Posadas said K9 units and armored vehicles were promptly deployed to the area to pursue the rebels.

He said the reinforcements caught up with the rebels, who were fired upon.

The troops are searching the encounter site to determine if there were rebels who died in the fighting, Posadas said. (PNA) scs/VR

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