Eastern Samar clash kills 2 soldiers

TACLOBAN CITY — The Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division reported on Friday that at least two soldiers were killed while three others — including a child — was injured following an encounter between state troops and members of the New People’s Army in in a remote village in Jipapad, Eastern Samar.

8th Infantry Division spokesperson Capt. Ryan Layug disclosed that an undetermined number of armed rebels attacked a squad of soldiers around 1:30 a.m. on Friday in remote Dorillo village.

The squad — with seven soldiers — was deployed in the area to get rid of NPA threats.

“Our troop was in the village to coordinate development projects. We are still gathering more information since this is a very sensitive operation,” Layug said.

He added that a 10-year-old girl was hit in the crossfire.

Meantime, Capt. Valben Almirante, spokesperson of the Army’s 803rd Brigade, said the young victim was rushed to a hospital in Borongan City with the assistance of the local government of Jipapad.

“The brigade mobilized its available forces to reinforce the beleaguered team, extract the casualty and ran after the perpetrators,” Almirante said.

The village is the farthest in Jipapad town near the borders of remote communities of Arteche and Maslog towns in Eastern Samar. The village is around eight kilometers from the Jipapad town proper and could not be reached by any mode of land transportation.

Col Perfecto Peñaredondo, 803rd Brigade Commander, condemned the communist attack as a “blatant violations against humanity” and urged the local government units of Eastern Samar “to condemn such dastardly act of the NPA terrorists.”

After initial investigation by Scene of the Crime Operatives of Eastern Samar Provincial Police Office, the military says appropriate cases will be filed for continuous violations of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law against the local communist NPA.

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