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4 soldiers, 1 rebel die after NPA attacks Davao Oriental police station

(Updated 10:52 a.m.) Four Philippine Army soldiers and one New People's Army (NPA) rebel were killed during a shootout Saturday night at a Davao Oriental police station.

According to a report by GMA News' Unang Balita’s Real Sorroche, not less than 50 NPA rebels attacked a police station in Mati City, Davao Oriental on February 14.

The NPA rebels were able to enter the station but the 30 officers on duty were able to defend it from being complete taken.
The NPA escaped in three vans after soldiers arrived, leaving behind a truck. When the soldiers gave chase, a landmine exploded, killing three soldiers and injuring one. Another soldier was killed when he passed by an NPA checkpoint.

According to 10th Infantry Division public affairs officer 1Lt. Vergel Lacambra, the insurgents attacked the police station around 7:30 p.m.

Soldiers from the 701st Brigade caught up with the retreating gunmen.

"Responding Army troops engaged the withdrawing enemy and a firefight erupted in a running gunbattle resulting in two [soldiers wounded] and one enemy killed," Lacambra said.

Col. Bienvenido Datuin, commander of the 701st Brigade, said that joint AFP-PNP personnel based in Mati had contained the situation, with pursuing troops now tracking the attackers.

Meanwhile, 10th ID commander Maj. Gen. Eduardo Año called the attack a "desperate nuisance move" by the insurgents. — Bea Montenegro/DVM/KG, GMA News