9 AFP men injured in helicopter crash PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 November 2015 13:45

Nine military personnel were injured when a helicopter on a casualty evacuation mission crash landed Saturday morning in communist rebels stronghold in southern Philippines.

Army spokesperson Capt. Alberto Caber told Daily Zamboanga Times in a text message that the helicopter was on a mission to extricate soldier casualties of the army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion when it encountered strong winds.

Caber said the helicopter went down around 9:40 a.m. in the village of Upper Suyan, Malapatan town, Sarangani, one of the  provinces where the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), is waging guerrilla war in troubled southern Philippines.

“There were prevailing strong winds when the helicopter was landing,” Caber said.

He said nine people aboard the aircraft including the pilot, crew and some soldiers, suffered injuries and were secured by ground troops.

Caber said Lt. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, commander of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command, has ordered the dispatch of more helicopters to evacuate wounded 73rd IB soldiers who are currently on a combat confrontation with NPA guerrillas.

Since March 1969, the NPA- the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines - has been waging one of Asia’s longest running insurgencies in the country, which - according to the military - has claimed more than 3,000 lives over the past eight years. It has been involved in killings involving personalities participating in counter insurgency activities.