Five soldiers were injured when suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members detonated a landmine against a military convoy in Mainit, Surigao del Norte, Wednesday night.

The five, whose names are being withheld until their kin are notified, suffered shrapnel wounds and were brought to the Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City, said Col. Leopoldo Galon, Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command spokesman.

Members of the 30th Infantry Battalion were passing through Sitio Mat-e, Brgy. Matin-ao, on three military vehicles around 9:25 p.m., when rebels detonated a landmine along the road, Galon said.

The explosion prompted the troops to maneuver and engage about 15 rebels in a 20-minute firefight, he said.

The clash was the latest of several reported skirmishes amid the ongoing military operations in Surigao del Norte and neighboring Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Norte.

Military operations in the three provinces started in the first week of March. (John Roson)

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