FOUR soldiers were wounded after two land mines planted alleged by the New People's Army (NPA) exploded at sitio Manipis, Barangay Paquibato Proper, Davao City Friday morning.

According to the Army's 10th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office chief, Capt. Emmanuel Garcia, one of the wounded is in critical condition while the three are now stable at Camp Felix Apolinario.

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The victims were identified as Pvt. Ramel Laranio, Pfc. Sever Garcia, Pfc. Nof Amoroso, and Pvt. Elmer Laroya.

Garcia told Sun.Star Superbalita that the explosion occured around 7:35 a.m. after members of the 69th Infantry Battalion responded to a call for assistance.

"Ang sundalo natin ay nag-react sa information galing sa taumbayan na nagsasabing na may mga armado sa kanilang lugar at pagpunta nila doon may sumabog na dalawang improvised explosive device," Garcia said.

Garcia said the military has launched operations against the rebel group responsible for the explosion.

"Sa ngayon ongoing ang firefight doon at hinintay namin ang progress report," Garcia said.

The victims were brought to the Southern Philippines Medical Center after receiving first aid at the military hospital in Camp Panacan.

"Ang insidente na ito ay nagpapatunay na ang NPA ay isang organisasyon ng mga terorista dahil sa patuloy nilang paggamit ng improvised explosive device," Garcia said.

He added that there are no reports of wounded rebels yet. As of presstime, the victim who is in critical condition was not identified. (AD)