FIVE soldiers were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED), which was allegedly planted by members of the New People’s Army (NPA), exploded on Monday, May 21 in Sitio Patawon, Barangay Cabuyuan, Mabini, Compostela Valley.

Captain Jerry Lamosao, Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) chief of the 10th Infantry Division (ID) said the incident happened at 10:55 p.m. on Monday.

The wounded security officers were from the 46th Infantry Battalion (IB). They were initially tasked to establish a blocking position towards Km 15, Barangay Cabuyoan, Mabini, Compostela Valley when an IED exploded in the vicinity of Sitio Patawon, Barangay Cabuyuan.

Lamosao said it was possibly planted by the members of Milisyang Bayan led by alias Janu of Guerilla Front (GF) 2, Sub-Regional Committee 2 (SRC) Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).

“First aid was applied to wounded personnel and were immediately extricated and brought to the nearest hospital,” he said.

Meanwhile, the personnel of Municipal Police Station (MPS) together with Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) conducted a follow-up investigation on the incident in an effort to apprehend the fleeing rebels.

Prior to the incident, at around 1:30 p.m. on the same day, there was a separate encounter between the communist group and the government forces, who were on peace and development patrol.

The troops under 46IB a firefight with undetermined number of NPA group believed to be elements of GF2, SRC2, SMRC in Km 15 Barangay Cabuyoan, Mabini, Compostela Valley where it lasted for about five minutes after which the enemy withdrew.