Clash kills rebel, 3 troops injured

AN UNIDENTIFIED member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed while three soldiers of the 28th Infantry Battalion were wounded during a clash in Purok Kinawasan, Barangay San Isidro, Lupon, Davao Oriental at 3:24 p.m. on Saturday.

Meanwhile, 74 residents evacuated to avoid being caught in the crossfire.

In an interview yesterday, Lt. Col. Mike Ramon, the commander of 28th Infantry Battalion, said that the troops responded to the request for assistance by the residents who reported armed men in their community.

He said a military operation was conducted on the tip by the residents resulting in the encounter.

“We still could not identify the NPA killed,” he added.

The soldiers recovered an improvised explosive device, wires, and personal belongings at the encounter site.

The wounded soldiers were immediately evacuated by helicopter to the military hospital in Panacan, Davao City for treatment.

Meanwhile, Ramon said all internally displaced persons were attended to by the local government unit and national government agencies.

Initially, they recorded 74 evacuees from Kinawasan, Consuelo in Sitio Licop, Barangay Sainz, Mati City, as well as those coming from the Lupon boundary.

“We believe there are undetermined wounded on the (NPA) side and we call upon them to voluntary surrender so they can be given proper medical treatment in accordance with the International Humanitarian Law pertaining to wounded combatants,” he said.

Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, the spokesperson of Police Regional Office XI, identified the wounded as Sgt. Benjie A. Ortizano, Pfc. Juniel P. Liasgo, and Pfc. Warren A. Amora.

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