Philippines allege use of bioweapons by communist rebels

A landmine that exploded at the boundary of Libug and Cabcaban villages in Sumisip town, the Philippines, reportedly contained biological weapons, authorities have said.

Ten soldiers were wounded in the explosion and subsequent ambush in the southern Philippines region last Tuesday. Those soldiers then developed high fevers and were airlifted to a nearby hospital, the Philippine Star reported.

"The Abu Sayyaf must have mixed some sort of a biological chemical to their improvised explosive devices," Col. Jocelyn Turla, commanding officer of the Camp Navarro General Hospital, told the Philippine Star.

Turla said that the soldiers, who also suffered shrapnel wounds, were currently in stable condition after receiving proper treatment.

The biological component of the IED has yet to be identified, but local papers have called for the communist rebels who placed them to be censured for the use of biological weapons and landmines.

Five other Army soldiers were killed and eight wounded during a clash with the communist New People's Army rebels in Tubo, Abra, northern Luzon last week as well after a soldier tripped on a landmine.

"The incident confirms that the NPA has a terrorist character (just like the Abu Sayyaf)," Maj. Rosendo Armas, spokesman for the Armed Forces' Northern Luzon Command told the Philippine Star. "The use of landmines has practiced by local terrorist groups against government troops or politicians," Armas said.

International Humanitarian Law bars warring parties from using landmines. The Philippine military has said that these cases will be elevated to the international court.