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NPA amazon captured by soldiers after firefight in North Cotabato—Army

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines—A New People’s Army commander has been captured during a brief firefight between soldiers and insurgents in Arakan, North Cotabato on Tuesday, the military announced Wednesday.

However, Col. Nilo Vinluan, commander of the 57th Infantry Battalion, declined to release the identity of the “NPA amazon” but added that she has been turned over to the police.

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Vinluan said about 30 NPA rebels under Front 53 clashed with patrolling soldiers about 4 p.m.

As the rebels were retreating, the advancing soldiers caught up with the woman NPA leader and captured her.

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“A handgun was also recovered from her possession,” he said.

Vinluan said no government troop was harmed in the clash.

The military has been conducting manhunt operations in the hinterlands of North Cotabato following the foiled NPA raid on the police station of Pres. Roxas on May 20.

Five rebels – including an NPA leader – were killed when the “undermanned” President Roxas police put up a fight.

“Her rights will be respected,” Vinluan said when asked if the captured rebel was being treated well.

The military said the NPA continues its activities in North Cotabato even after the foiled Pres. Roxas raid.

Lt. Col. Apollo Lamaton, commander of the 39th Infantry Battalion based in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, said the rebels also appeared to have become desperate that they now plant explosives on roads that even civilians used.

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Lamaton said four landmines were recovered in Barangay (village) Luna Sur in Makilala, North Cotabato.  Lamaton’s unit has jurisdiction over Makilala.

“If not for the civilians who relayed the information to our Peace and Development Team personnel in the area, there was a great possibility of innocent citizens dying in a landmine explosion,” he said.

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TAGS: Armed conflict, arrest, capture, clash, communist rebellion, detention, Encounter, gunbattle, Insurgency, New People's Army, news, Philippine Army, rebellion, Regions
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