Troops overrun NPA land-mine factory

ARMY soldiers attacked and seized a heavily guarded land-mine factory of the New People’s Army (NPA) in a remote village in Samar on Monday.

Lt. Col. Niceforo Diaz Jr., spokesman for the 8th Infantry “Storm Trooper” Division, reported on Wednesday that the seized land-mine factory was located at the boundary of Barangays Santo Niño and Pagsanjan in Paranas (formerly Wright), Samar.

“The soldiers operating in the area learned about the clandestine land-mine factory of the NPA,” Diaz said, citing information provided by residents to the troops.

He said the informants expressed grave concern over the activities of the rebels in their village because the production of improvised explosive devices threatens their safety.

“Guided by concerned residents, the soldiers reached the vicinity of the suspected camp at about 5 a.m. on March 5. The NPA rebels who were heavily armed manning the camp were caught off-guard with the arrival of the soldiers, prompting them to engage in a brief firefight as they escaped,” Diaz said.

During the firefight, Sgt. Freddie Gusoso was hit in the thigh. He is now recuperating at the Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Hospital in Tacloban City.

The soldiers eventually overran the camp.

Found inside a big makeshift shelter and other smaller shelters were 44 improvised land mines, a machine for land-mine production, 20 blasting caps with detonating cords, assorted explosive production equipment, a B40 type rocket launcher; an improvised round for the B40 and an M-16 rifle with serial number 189748.

“With the volume and quality of explosives recovered and the geographic location of Samar Island the seized NPA explosive factory produces a good number of homemade bombs on daily basis. It’s good we were able to discover and bust it,” Diaz said.

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