An Army lieutenant got killed while another soldier was injured as suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members ambushed a military truck in Daraga, Albay, Saturday morning.

Major Angelo Guzman, Army 9th Infantry Division spokesman, said the truck was carrying 10 soldiers and a civilian doctor who were supposed to carry out a medical mission in Brgy. Nabasan.

About 15 rebels fired upon the military truck around 9:20 a.m., while it was passing through the boundary of Brgys. San Vicente Grande and Nabasan, he said.

“The soldiers jumped out of the military truck and engaged the enemies for 15 minutes. The attackers fled, but one young lieutenant was killed,” Guzman said in a text message.

The military withheld the slain lieutenant’s name as his family has yet to be notified of the incident. Another soldier, identified as Pfc. Genesis Broso, was wounded and brought to a hospital in Legazpi City.

Ramon Martin Velasco, the doctor who was riding the military truck with the soldiers, escaped unhurt, Guzman said.

Major Gen. Josue Gaverza Jr., Army 9th ID commander, said he has directed 901st Brigade commander Col. Arthur Ang to mount pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels who dragged their casualties with them.

The incident was the second attack on an Army medical mission in the Bicol region in two months.

Last month, an Army team on board a banca was fired upon by NPA members while on the way to another medical mission site in Masbate.

“It seems that the NPA rebels are not choosing their targets anymore, these are humanitarian missions, and some of the beneficiaries might be their families and relatives,” Gaverza said in a statement. (John Roson)

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