Army trooper, 2 NPA rebels slain in Ilocos Sur clash
BAGUIO CITY — An Army trooper was killed while four others were wounded in a reported encounter with suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) on Saturday in Ilocos Sur, authorities said.
Maj. Ericson Bulosan, spokesperson of the Army’s Northern Luzon Command, said the slain government soldier belonged to the Army’s 702nd Infantry Brigade.
In a report, Bulosan said two NPA rebels from the Komiteng Larangang Gerilya-South Ilocos were also killed in the encounter along the diversion road at Barangay Suagayan in Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur near Candon City at 2 p.m.
Bulosan said the government soldiers were conducting security patrol in the area when they were attacked by the rebels.
A separate report from the Army’s 81st Infantry Battalion said three NPA rebels were already killed in the encounter.
The report said those killed in the clash, which lasted for about half a day, included the rebel group’s female medical officer and a bomb expert. A certain “Ka Nero” reportedly led the rebels.
Among those injured were two civilians who were hit by stray bullets while taking shelter inside a nipa hut along the Candon City Bypass Road.
Army officials said a hot pursuit operation is ongoing while residents near the area were cautioned against going out of their homes to avoid getting caught in the crossfire.
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