10 Soldiers in Rescue Mission Killed in Ambush

Manila Bulletin, December 2, 2004 | Go to article overview

10 Soldiers in Rescue Mission Killed in Ambush


Byline: FREDDIE C. VELEZ, FRED ROXAS, and AFP

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan Ten Army soldiers were killed while six others were wounded in a clash with suspected members of the New Peoples Army (NPA) on Tuesday afternoon in Barangay Pasong Bangkal, San Ildefonso, Bulacan.

Sketchy reports said that the soldiers were on their way to conduct rescue operations in the flooded towns of Bulacan when some 80 heavily armed rebels reportedly ambushed them in the barangay.

The firefight lasted for more than three hours, sources said.

Military officers have yet to identify the slain and wounded soldiers, who were assigned at the 56th Infantry Division based in this province.

A suspected NPA rebel was killed in the running gunbattle.

CAMP AQUINO, Tarlac Ten Army troopers and a New Peoples Army (NPA) rebel were killed and six other soldiers were wounded when 80 rebels attacked a 19-man Army team supposedly undertaking counter-disaster operations in a flooded village in Bulacan at about 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon.

Lieutenant Colonel Preme Monta, spokesman of the Army Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) based here, said that 10 soldiers belonging to the Armys 56th Infantry Battalion were killed and six others were wounded when they were waylaid by NPA rebels in Barangay Pasong Pasong Bakal, San Ildefonso, Bulacan.

Only three Army soldiers survived the attack. An NPA rebel was killed when Army soldiers engaged the rebels in a gunbattle which lasted for more than an hour.

Among those killed was the unit commander of the soldiers undertaking search-and-rescue operations in the flooded community. Their identities were withheld by Monta pending notification of their next of kin.

The soldiers were dispatched by Lieutenant General Romeo Dominguez, Nolcom commander, to San Ildefonso to rescue stranded residents and secure a bridge rendered impassable by rising floodwaters spawned by heavy rains of tropical storm "Winnie."

"Our soldiers were there to help, especially in advising villagers and motorists not to take the damaged bridge," Dominguez said. "They were pulled out from their combat operations to carry out a humanitarian mission in flood-stricken areas in Bulacan."

Dominguez and other Nolcom officers were at the Senate where a public hearing was being conducted on the November 16 violent dispersal at Hacienda Luisita, where 14 persons were killed, when the ambush happened. (Fred M. Roxas)

MANILA (AFP) Ten soldiers engaged in a rescue mission for victims of a tropical storm just outside the Philippine capital were killed by communist rebels while six others were wounded, the military said yesterday. …

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