Five soldiers and three militiamen were killed in a landmine ambush staged by the New People’s Army in North Cotabato Monday morning, the military said.

The troops were on board a military truck on their way to deliver the salaries of the CAFGU personnel within Tulunan town when they were landmined, Eastern Mindanao Command public information office chief Captain Alberto Caber said.

The incident happened along the boundary of Sitio Mangi, Brgys. Caridad and Bituan both of Tulunan town.

The names of fatalities were withheld pending notification of the families. Pursuit operations are now being conducted.

Meanwhile, Eastmincom Commander Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier G. Cruz III expressed his sympathy to the bereaved families of the soldiers as he directed all military units to continue with their focus of defeating the NPA through Bayanihan operations.