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AFP attack planes mobilized; 12 killed in NPA-military clashes

by AJLPP Saturday, Jun. 09, 2007 at 2:06 PM
magsasakapil@hotmail.com 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

The area command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has mobilized attack planes and gunship helicopters to extend air support to the combat battalions currently pursuing communist insurgents in Compostela Valley province and Davao Oriental. Clashes between government troops and members of the New People’s Army (NPA) left four soldiers and eight rebels dead, military officials yesterday said. Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Obaniana, AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command area chief, ordered Maj. Gen. Ernesto Boac, 10th Infantry Division (ID) commander, to use all available combat personnel and military bulldozers to “pin down” the communist rebels.

AFP attack planes mobilized; 12 killed in NPA-military clashes



06/09/2007

Manila-- The area command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Eastern Mindanao Command (EASMINCOM) has mobilized attack planes and gunship helicopters to extend air support to the combat battalions currently pursuing communist insurgents in Compostela Valley province and Davao Oriental.

Clashes between government troops and members of the New People’s Army (NPA) left four soldiers and eight rebels dead, military officials yesterday said.

Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Obaniana, AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command area chief, ordered Maj. Gen. Ernesto Boac, 10th Infantry Division (ID) commander, to use all available combat personnel and military bulldozers to “pin down” the communist rebels.

The NPAs were allegedly harassing rural businesses and the soldiers helping the local government unit in infrastructure projects and village folk.

Support combat battalions of the 1001st Infantry Brigade arrived in Monkayo town, Compostela Valley, to “hit the target at all costs.”

The big offensive was ignited when combat troops of the 28th Infantry Battalion engaged in a fierce gunbattle many heavily armed fighters of Front Committee 20 of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Committee at Kilometer 56, Barangay Rizal, at 3 a.m. Thursday.

Brig. Gen. Carlos Holganza, chief of the 101st Infantry Brigade, for his part, said two NPA guerrillas were also killed and five others were wounded.

The rebels detonated a landmine as the troops advanced toward the camp, causing most of the Army casualties and sparking the battle, he added.

“It’s a big camp, equipped with tunnels and running trenches. They could have occupied it for a year,” Holganza said.

Another gunbattle also occurred in Davao Oriental at the same time.

The initial clash took place in a nearby mountainous and forested provincial boundary of Compostela Valley and Agusan del Sur province.

Initial flash reports said four Army soldiers were killed while 11 others were wounded in an almost one hour heavy fire fight at Kilometer 56.

The report also said many communist insurgents were either killed or seriously wounded.

“We are pursuing now the bloodstains scattered along their (NPA) escape route,” a tactical military officer said.

He added the rebels fled in the nearby forested and mountainous province of Agusan del Sur.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Jose Barbieto, area command chief of the Army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao Fourth Infantry Division, also ordered on Friday Col. Jose Viscarra, 401st Infantry Brigade commander, to send combat battalions to nearby Agusan del Sur and Compostela Valley provincial boundary to block the fleeing NPAs.

The rebels were reportedly dragging along with them their casualties.

Barbieto also alerted the 402nd Infantry Brigade for possible reinforcements of combat soldiers to the 401st Brigade operating troops.

The AFP’s offensive drive against the NPAs in Compostella Valley province was the second largest troop movement so far since the 4th Division attacked and overran the command and operation center of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee in “Greenfield” complex, Barangay Sta. Juana, Tagbina town, Surigao del Sur.

The 4th ID combat troops found in the “complex” a cave used as bomb factory, equipped with P10 million worth of explosive chemicals late last year.

The AFP is currently conducting an all-out offensive against some 7,000 Maoist NPA fighters, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) across the country.

The CPP-NPA insurgents have been fighting the government in a guerrilla warfare for 37 years.

Gina Peralta-Elorde and PNA

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