Cop, baby killed in Bukidnon ambush

By Gerry Lee Gorit and John Unson

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A police officer and a four-month-old baby died in an ambush staged by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Talakag, Bukidnon on Thursday.

Senior Police Officer 3 Arnel Carillo was with a group of policemen who had just attended a conference in Cagayan de Oro when they were waylaid in Barangay Tikalaan.

Inspector Joven Acuesta, police chief of Amai Manabilang town in Lanao del Sur; SPO1 Pacifico Cabudoy and PO1 Nathaniel Ibal were wounded. Earlier reports said the three policemen were snatched by the rebels.

The still unidentified infant, who was in a Toyota Fortuner behind the police car, was hit by a stray bullet. Two of the six other passengers of the sport utility vehicle were hit in the chest and arm, respectively.

One of the victims said the rebels fired at them when the police car overtook their vehicle. “They thought we were with the police,” she said.

Senior Superintendent Benedicto Pintor, Bukidnon police director, said responding policemen recovered an improvised explosive device at the scene.

Army intelligence sources said rebels belonging to the NPA Fronts 53 and 72 perpetrated the ambush.

Rebel slain, 10 soldiers hurt

In Nueva Vizcaya, a rebel was killed and 10 soldiers were wounded in a firefight that lasted for almost nine hours in Barangay Sanguit, Dupax del Sur on Thursday.

Lt. Catherine Japin, 83rd Infantry Battalion spokesperson, said an M16 rifle, a hand grenade and a backpack were recovered from the rebel who has yet to be identified.

The wounded soldiers were airlifted to the Veterans Regional Hospital.

Lt. Col. Isagani Nato of the Northern Luzon Command said the soldiers were patrolling the area when the clash occurred.   – With Jaime Laude, Raymund Catindig, Victor Martin

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