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4 Soldiers, 1 Rebel Slain in Bohol Clash

Four soldiers, including one officer, and one rebel were killed when suspected New People’s Army guerrillas ambushed a jeep-load of Army troopers in Mabini town at noon on Saturday. Killed were Lt. Ronnie Bungaos, T/Sgt. Oscar Ocho, Sgt. Raul Jandarian and Pvt. Ernesto Marcial. Two soldiers, Cpl. Roger Britanico and Pfc. Seran Labis, were wounded. Senior Supt. Sancho Bernales, the provincial police chief commander, said the four slain soldiers were from the 15th Infantry Battalion. They were riding in two jeeps on their way to their San Jose base in Barangay San Isidro in Mabini when the guerrillas opened fire. San Isidro is about 10 kilometers from the town proper. Mabini is some 105 km east of Tagbilaran. The ambush, the third rebel-initiated encounter in Bohol this year, occurred between the barangays of Cabulao and Delman. Mabini is among the towns where a rebel presence has been reported and San Isidro is “at least infiltrated,” according to Capt. Raul Mendez, the Army’s civilian operations officer. The rebels, who left their lone unidentified casualty behind, made off with six government rifles. Soldiers recovered the slain rebel’s M-16 rifle, however. Full Story

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