Leftist rebels claim responsibility for ambush against Philippine official
MANILA, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — Left-wing rebels said on Monday they were responsible for an ambush that left a Philippine official wounded, but alleged that she was not the target of the attack.
Elisa Kho, governor of the central province of Masbate, was injured in a blast in the province’s Cataingan town on Sunday noon. One of her escorts was also hurt in the ambush.
Kho’s convoy was on the way to Masbate City, capital of the province, when two bombs exploded at the left shoulder of the national highway in Cataingan.
“The governor was slightly wounded at her eyebrow caused by glass particles from the windshield of their vehicle which was shattered by the explosion,” said local police chief Reuben Theodore Sindac.
“She and her escort are both safe now,” he added.
Greg Banares, a spokesman of the New People’s Army (NPA), told a radio station on Monday that his group was behind the ambush, but insisted that the target was not the governor, but some policemen on the vehicle.
The 5,400-strong NPA has been waging a guerrilla war against the government since its founding in late 1960s. It halted peace talks with the government in 2003, irritated by the administration’s inaction to remove it from the U.S. government’s list of international terrorist organizations.
Last week, the rebels confirmed that they had seized three policemen in an ambush in Rizal province, only 20 kilometers east of Manila.
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