Communist rebels in Caraga Region claimed to have killed at least 6 soldiers and militiamen during a series of skirmishes in Agusan del Norte province the past days.
Rino Colaste, alias Ka (Comrade) Oto, spokesperson of the New People’s Army’s (NPA) Front Committee 16, said its forces launched harassment attacks by firing at the government troops in the hinterland communities of Jabonga town over the weekend.
The attacks, he said were in retaliation against the “continued military operations” particularly in Zapanta Valley.
“Four Civilian Armed Auxilliary (CAA) and two soldiers were killed by snipers during our harassments. We have their complete names,” Colaste told a local radio.
The military denied the reported casualties.
A total of 460 persons, including children, have been displaced since clashes broke out in the hinterland communities of Kitcharao town last week.
The civilians were forced to abandon their homes for fear of being caught in the crossfire as fighting raged between the rebels and government forces.
The evacuees have been temporarily housed in makeshift tents in the village center of Bangayan.
Capt. Al Anthony Pueblas, spokesperson of the Army’s 402nd Brigade earlier said the evacuees, mostly members of the Mamanwa tribe left their homes due to threats by communist insurgents.
“The NPA harassed and threatened the residents of Zapanta Valley,” said. By GD