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Soldier killed, 3 wounded in another ambush of relief convoy

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - December 22, 2015 - 3:54am

MANILA, Philippines  — A soldier was killed and three others were wounded in another attack of a relief convoy by suspected communist rebels in Northern Samar on Tuesday.

According to Army reports, troops from the 20th Infantry Battalion were on their way to storm-hit Barangay Bukid in Las Navas town on board a KM450 truck when they were waylaid by the rebels at around 5 a.m.

The soldiers were about to deliver repair equipment including hammers and steel tubes to communities affected by Typhoon Nona.

"Our troops fought back, resulting in a firefight that lasted for 15 minutes. The firefight killed one of our soldiers and wounded three others. No civilians were hurt during the incident," Armed Forces spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) condemned the incident, saying those who staged the atrocity do not have conscience.

"I'm already beyond angry. Everybody knows that the soldiers were there to help in the relief operations," NDRRMC Executive Director Alexander Pama said in an interview.

"I hope they are happy with what they did. They only proved that they do not have conscience. They did that not because of an ideology. They did that for their personal interests," he added.

Social Welfare Undersecretary Vilma Cabrera said the incident would not disrupt the government's humanitarian efforts. She, however, admitted that her agency is now worried about the safety of government and private donors in the area.

The incident was the second attack staged by suspected communist insurgents against a relief convoy in a week.

On December 18, two soldiers were injured after suspected New People's Army (NPA) guerillas attacked members of the 546th Engineering Battalion and the 83rd Reconnaissance Company in Pinabacdao, Samar.

Two employees of the social welfare department were with the soldiers in the three-truck convoy composed of M35 vehicle, a Mignon Civilian Vehicle, and a mini-dump truck.

Typhoon Nona left 42 persons dead and damaged more than P5.2-billion worth of agriculture and infrastructure. More than 80,000 individuals or about 17,000 families are still inside evacuation centers.

ARMED FORCES BARANGAY BUKID ENGINEERING BATTALION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ALEXANDER PAMA INFANTRY BATTALION LAS NAVAS MIGNON CIVILIAN VEHICLE NATIONAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL NEW PEOPLE NORTHERN SAMAR TYPHOON NONA
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