3 soldiers hurt in NPA ambush in Bukidnon

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MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon — Three members of the Army’s First Special Forces Battalion were injured in an ambush believed to have been perpetrated by communist guerrillas in Pangantucan town, this province, Monday.

The injured Army personnel were part of a company of soldiers taking part in a pursuit operation against New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, who launched a predawn attack on the battalion’s patrol base on the same day, said Insp. Jiselle Ester Lou M. Longakit, information officer of Bukidnon Police Provincial Office.

Longakit identified the wounded Army personnel as Sgt. Arnel Chico, and Privates Albert Necesario and Felix Ganagan, who were brought to the Bukdinon Provincial Hospital in nearby Maramag town.

Longakit said the 2:30 a.m. attack on the Army base in Barangay Mendis by around 20 members of suspected NPA rebels were repelled, forcing the guerrillas to retreat.

She said the ambush occurred at around 4:36 p.m. on the same day in Sitio Mapait, Barangay New Eden of the same town, as troops scoured the area for the fleeing rebels.

A team of local policemen and Army units from the 403rd Brigade immediately responded and conducted a clearing operation, forcing the NPA to withdraw north of the Mt. Kalatungan Mountain Ranges, she said.

After the clash, government forces recovered from the enemy position a limb, possibly from one of the wounded rebels, an empty rifle grenade launcher case, ammunitions and other high-powered firearms.

Longakit said evidence obtained from the clash site showed that the NPA suffered casualties.

Pangantucan town is located on the south-western part of Bukidnon. (Mel B. Madera/PNA)

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