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Maoist landmine explosion kills 3 in Mindanao
By Manolo B. Jara December 15, 2015
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MANILA: Members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) set off a landmine on a group of soldiers conducting an outreach programme on peace and development in a remote village in Compostela province in restive Mindanao, killing three people — an Army enlisted man, a militiaman and a civilian, the military reported on Monday.

Captain Benedict Corpuz, the provincial military spokesman, said the explosion that occurred on Saturday evening in a village in the town of Mabini also wounded 14 soldiers and another civilian.

Attending physicians at the nearest hospital declared the condition of the civilian as serious due multiple injuries he sustained in the explosion, Corpuz said.

He said the soldiers and the civilians were travelling on foot to the village where they were to conduct an outreach programme when the NPA rebels set off the landmine they had placed along the path.

“The soldiers were engaged in an outreach programme on peace and development when the explosion occurred,” Corpuz said as he denounced the rebels for violating an international convention against the use of landmines.

Despite the ban, Corpuz said the NPAs continued to use landmines in their attacks especially on remote villages in Mindanao and other areas that resulted in the killing and wounding of soldiers and policemen as well as innocent civilians also in violation of international humanitarian laws to which the rebels were a signatory.

The NPA with about 4,000 members is the armed component of the Communist Party of the Philippines that has been waging a Maoist-style insurgency against the government for more than 45 years, considered the longest in Asia and the Pacific.

Security experts noted the attack was the latest conducted by the Maoists since the breakdown of their peace talks with the government in late 2013 in Oslo, Norway which has been brokering the negotiations.

The government panel blamed the collapse of the talks on the unreasonable demands of the National Democratic Front (NDF), the insurgents’ political arm which represented them at the negotiations, especially the release of 30 of their “consultants” arrested on orders of the lower courts where they were facing non-bailable criminal charges such as murder, kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

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