GMA News Online

Four soldiers wounded in North Cotabato encounter

July 10, 2011 12:48pm

MAGPET, North Cotabato — Four soldiers were wounded in an attack by a group of New Peoples Army (NPA) insurgents in a remote village here Saturday afternoon, a local official said Sunday.

Magpet town Mayor Efren Piñol said the soldiers were patrolling Barangay Manobo in Magpet town after receiving intelligence reports that heavily armed men were in the area.

Rebels belonging to Front 53 led by NPA commander Ponyong opened fired at the patrolling soldiers who returned fire resulting in a skirmish that lasted for one hour and fifteen minutes.

The wounded soldiers were identified as PFC. Arnold Tombado, PVT. Rufino Eludo; PFC. Tasil Samad and PVT. Leovinson Capacio. All were immediately brought to the Cotabato Provincial Hospital in Barangay Amas, Kidapawan City for medical attention.

Lt. Manuel Gatus, chief of Civil Military Operation (CMO) said the soldiers are now safe and can leave the hospital anytime Sunday.

The army has augmented its troops in Barangay Manobo and these are in pursuit of the communist rebels who had fled and hid themselves in the mountainous northern region of Magpet.

Gatus said at least six NPA rebels must have also been wounded in the encounter, citing blood stains found in the area where the rebels withdrew.

Checkpoints have been set up in the eastern and northern portions of Magpet to track down the rebels should they bring their wounded to the town's hospitals. Williamor Magbanua/MRT, GMA News
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