1 rebel killed in ongoing firefight in Batangas
LOS BAÑOS, Laguna — At least one suspected rebel was killed in a continuing firefight between members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Philippine Air Force in Batangas province on Sunday.
Col. Arnulfo Burgos, commander of the 202nd Infantry Brigade, said the firefight started around 8:50 a.m. after members of the 730th Combat Group of the Philippine Air Force chanced upon a supposed rebel encampment on Mt. Banoy in Barangay (village) Talumpok Silangan in Batangas City.
The firefight continues as government forces pursue the rebels, Burgos said in a phone interview around 4 p.m.
Burgos said one male rebel was killed while undetermined number of NPA soldiers were wounded. He said they also recovered an M16 rifle.
“We have a body count (but) the body has yet to be extracted,” Burgos said of the fatality. No one is hurt on the government side.
Burgos said the Philippine Air Force and members of the Batangas police have been conducting a joint “security operation” in the area for the last three days after locals told them about the rebels’ presence.
The Philippine Coast Guard is monitoring sea ports while Batangas police chiefs were ordered to monitor hospitals for possibility of finding wounded rebels there, he said. /je
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