3 rebels dead, Army soldier injured in gun battle
BACOLOD CITY — Three suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels died, while an Army soldier was injured in an encounter Wednesday afternoon in Sitio Banwa Minatay, Barangay Marcelo, Calatrava, Negros Occidental.
Lt. Col. Emelito Thaddeus Logan, 79th Infantry Battalion commander, on Wednesday, said his troops encountered 12 communist rebels while responding to complaints of the population on their extortion activities in the area.
Logan said the gun battle lasted about 30 minutes and the rebels scampered in various directions leaving behind their three slain comrades.
Army soldiers also recovered M16 and AK47 assault rifles, five magazines of M16 with ammunition, seven magazines of AK47 also with ammunition, three rifle grenades, four M4 magazines with bullets, two handheld radios and 12 backpacks containing personal belongings.
Authorities had yet to determine the identities of the slain rebels. Their bodies were turned over to the Calatrava municipal government for identification by their respective families.
The injured soldier identified as Staff Sergeant Edwin Gardose is now in a stable condition.
Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, disclosed that their combat operations would continue even during Holy Week to prevent the NPA from staging more violent activities.
On April 15, Army soldiers also overran a rebel camp in Bindoy, Negros Oriental, that resulted in the recovery of two M16 and M4 automatic rifles, as well as other war materials. /lzb
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