2 soldiers killed, 1 hurt in NPA attacks
Roel Pareño, John Unson (The Philippine Star) - July 19, 2019 - 12:00am

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines  —  Two unarmed soldiers were killed by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in an ambush in Arakan town in this province on Wednesday.

Privates Lendo Borja and Paul Devara of the 19th Infantry Battalion (IB) died at the scene.

The military said the soldiers were returning to their camp after a public service mission in remote farming enclaves when they were shot in Barangay Kinawayan.

One of the soldiers reportedly tried to escape, but the rebels chased him and shot him several times.

The communist guerrillas also reportedly took the wallets and other personal belongings of the fatalities.

The ambush came three days after residents of a village in nearby President Roxas town burned an NPA flag in a public gymnasium to show their indignation over the atrocities committed by the rebels in their area.

In Zamboanga Sibugay, a soldier was among those wounded while a communist guerrilla was killed in an encounter in Kabasalan town also on Wednesday. 

Soldiers of the 44th IB were deployed in Barangay Diampak to check the reported presence of NPA rebels extorting money and demanding food from villagers when the clash occurred, Lt. Col. Don Templonuevo, 44th IB commander, said.

Templonuevo said an M16 rifle and ammunition were among those recovered at the scene.

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