One soldier was killed while at least six others were injured when suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members detonated a landmine against a convoy of military trucks in Lupon, Davao Oriental, early Tuesday, the military said.

Private first class Jhasam Diaz of the 28th Infantry Battalion expired while being brought to a hospital, Army 10th Infantry Division spokesman Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza said.

Six other soldiers were wounded and are now being treated at the Tagum Regional Hospital and Davao Oriental Provincial Hospital in Mati City, Paniza said.

The attack occurred around 12:20 a.m., while Diaz and other members of the 28th IB’s “peace and development team” were passing through Sitio Mainit, Brgy. Calapagan, on two military trucks.

The team was heading back to its headquarters when a landmine exploded and hit the rear portion of the second vehicle, Paniza said.

The attacked troops had just finished providing security to other soldiers who are conducting rehabilitation operations in areas affected by typhoon “Pablo,” according to the regional military spokesman.

“The NPA again showed barbarism and inhuman acts by disturbing our humanitarian assistance activities,” Paniza said.

Troops’ homes raided

Meanwhile, suspected NPA members raided homes of active and retired soldiers, as well as a former policeman, in Kinoguitan, Misamis Oriental, around 6 a.m. Tuesday.

About 25 fully-armed men “simultaneously ransacked” the houses of Pfc. Benjamin Timbal, of the 58th Infantry Battalion; retired Ssgt. Eliseo Salvacion; and retired PO4 Ananias Requerme in Purok 4, Brgy. Poblacion, Army 4th Infantry Division spokesman Lt. Col. Eugenio Osias said.

The rebels also raided the homes of former municipal councilor Benito Salvacion and one Vionica Llagas, Northern Mindanao regional police spokesman Supt. Ronnie Francis Cariaga said.

The raiders took Army camouflage uniforms, a pair of combat boots, a caliber-.45 pistol, four cellular phones, and other personal belongings before fleeing towards hilly part of Brgy. Buko Gamay, he said.

No one was reported injured during the raids.

Members of the 58th IB were sent to pursue the rebels, Osias said. (John Roson)

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