MANILA -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has organized a unit tasked to neutralize deadly anti-personnel mines (APM) used by the New People's Army (NPA), its public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said Friday.
"The AFP (has) acquired equipment for detection and neutralization of [emplaced] IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and landmines. We have organized a unit specializing on these skills," Detoyato said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) when asked about military efforts to counter the effects of such weapons.
He also disclosed that troops conduct foot patrols and information drives to civilians living in and around places where armed groups are usually lurking, to inform the residents of the threats posed by the APMs and what to do in case they detect any in their communities.
"We (also) conduct counter-IED and mines training to our personnel," he added.
The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union.
"We also invoke the International Humanitarian Law provisions on the use of landmines and IED where there is a probability that civilians will become victims during times when (the) NPA and other armed groups use them," Detoyato said. (PNA)
Photo from Reuters/Manila Bulletin