KIDAPAWAN CITY — Six soldiers were killed while 16 others were wounded when the New Peoples’ Army launched simultaneous attacks on soldiers in a town in Bukidnon early this week, an NPA spokesman said on Friday.
In a press statement issued Friday, Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesperson for the Merardo Arce Command of the NPA, said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) suffered heavy toll in the two separate attacks the guerrillas launched in Kitaotao town.
Also, Sanchez claimed the AFP had tried to conceal the fatalities it suffered.
Meanwhile, the 10th Infantry Division, in a statement it issued to media last Tuesday, said the division only suffered four casualties during the attacks led by two NPA Fronts based in the provinces of North Cotabato, Bukidnon, and Davao del Sur in Northern and Southern Mindanao regions.
At around 630 a.m., the rebels ambushed a private vehicle with soldiers from the 23rd Infantry Battalion along the highway in Barangay Sinuda, Kitaotao, the Sanchez said.
Two died on the spot, while four others were injured, he added.
Three hours later, an NPA commando belonging to Front 53 ambushed a convoy of the 8th Infantry Battalion on a road in Barangay Palakapaw, also in Kitaotao.
The rebels set off a command-detonated explosive that blasted the military vehicle, killing four soldiers and wounding 12 others, the NPA statement said.
Few hours after the attack, the NPA set up a roadblock until 2 p.m., on that day, while the AFP had air and ground reinforcement from the regional headquarters in Davao City.
The AFP sent two Huey helicopters and two bomber planes to rescue the soldiers under fire.