TWO soldiers were killed while two others were wounded when three Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) exploded following a clash with New People's Army (NPA).

The NPA members were conducting extortion activities in Sitio Kambasi, El Salvador in New Corella, Davao del Norte province on Wednesday morning.

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A report from the Army's 10th Infantry Division said residents informed an army detachment of a group of armed men extorting in their village, prompting a soldier and six Civilian Auxiliary Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) members to conduct patrol leading to a gun battle.

The government troops exchanged fire with about 30 armed rebels.

Troops were pursuing the fleeing NPA members when three IEDs exploded killing Cafgu members Danilo Dagupo and Herbie Tahali and wounding of Corporal Fortunato Dizon and Cafgu Joseph Autida.

The incident was condemned by authorities as "the explosions might have wounded or killed civilians," said Maj. Gen. Carlos Holganza, chief of the Army's 10th Infantry Division.

"These terrorists are a menace to the people. After extorting our citizens, they still have the nerve to use IED against our soldiers who are protecting the people," Holganza added.

In 2009, 11 IEDs planted along road nets were exploded by NPAs resulting to the death of 11 individuals and wounded 30 others. (PR)