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7 soldiers hurt in Northern Samar landmine blast; military blames NPA

Seven soldiers were injured, including two in critical condition, after an anti-personnel mine exploded during their community service in Mapanas, Northern Samar, on Tuesday, the military said.

The military said troops from the 20th Infantry Battalion and 63rd Infantry Battalion (63IB) were conducting immersion activities when the explosion occurred at 6:15 a.m.

“Of the seven, dalawa ang critical, so ongoing ang evacuation nila sa hospital [two were in critical condition so their evacuation to the hospital is ongoing],” 8ID commander Major General Edgardo de Leon said.

“Hopefully malagpasan nila yung kanilang ordeal na, nagko-community service na nga, pinasabugan pa ng anti-personnel mine,” he added.

(Hopefully they could overcome their ordeal, that they were just doing community service when they were attacked through an anti-personnel mine.)

De Leon blamed the communist rebel group New People’s Army (NPA) for the attack and condemned them for their alleged violation of the law that prohibits the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines.

Authorities are now conducting pursuit operations to arrest the involved rebels, De Leon said, adding appropriate charges will be filed against them for violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

No civilians were hurt in the incident, according to De Leon. —Joviland Rita/KBK, GMA News