An Army soldier was killed while two civilians were injured in an ambush by still unidentified gunmen in North Upi, Maguindanao, Friday afternoon, authorities said.

Private first class Rey Jim Enerio of the Army’s 6th Infantry Battalion, died on the spot, Senior Supt. Marcelo Pintac, Maguindanao Provincial Police director, said in a text message Friday night.

Enerio’s companions Justina Parian and Rhona Parian suffered bullet wounds and were taken to the Upi Hospital for treatment, Pintac said.

The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. while Enerio and the Parians were travelling along the Lebak-Cotabato road in Sitio Kibungcog, Brgy. Kibucay.

Colonel Prudencio Asto, Army 6th Infantry Division public affairs chief, said Enerio served as an “escort” to Justina Parian, a member of the business sector of Upi.

“He (Enerio) was also on board the family’s vehicle because he was an escort,” Asto said, adding that about seven men carried out the ambush based on footprints found at the scene.

Members of the North Upi Police and 6th IB immediately launched pursuit operations against the assailants upon learning the incident, Pintac said. (John Roson)

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