TACLOBAN CITY – Two soldiers died, two others were wounded, and a child got hit by a stray bullet when a band of New People’s Army (NPA) attacked government troops in a remote village in Jipapad, Eastern Samar province early Friday.
Citing initial reports, Capt. Ryan Layug, spokesperson of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division, said an undetermined number of armed rebels attacked a squad of soldiers around 1:30 a.m. on Friday in remote Dorillo village in Jipapad town.
The squad, with seven soldiers, was deployed in the area to get rid of NPA threats.
“Our troop was in the village to coordinate development projects. We are still gathering more information since this is a very sensitive operation,” Layug told the Philippine News Agency.
A 10-year-old girl was hit by a stray bullet from the enemy side, according to Layug.
Capt. Valben Almirante, spokesperson of the Army’s 803rd Brigade, said the young victim was rushed to a hospital in Borongan City with the assistance of the local government of Jipapad.
“The brigade mobilized its available forces to reinforce the beleaguered team, extract the casualty and ran after the perpetrators,” Almirante said.
The village is the farthest in Jipapad town near the borders of remote communities of Arteche and Maslog towns in Eastern Samar.
“The village can be reached though hours of banca ride and hiking. Last year, it was declared as cleared from NPA influence through the community support program, but there were sightings recently,” Almirante said in a phone interview.
The military condemned the NPA for launching treacherous attacks against government forces. (PNA)