Soldier, NPA rebel killed in separate clashes in Southern Mindanao
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A soldier and a communist rebel were killed during separate clashes between the New People’s Army and government troops in Southern Mindanao, police and military officials reported Thursday.
The latest clash – wherein a rebel was slain – took place in Laak, Compostela Valley, Thursday.
The encounter happened while soldiers from the Philippine Army’s 60th Infantry Battalion led by 2Lt. James Diana on combat operations ran into some 100 heavily armed NPA guerrillas in Barangay Sabud in Laak around 8 a.m., said Supt. Antonio Rivera, spokesperson of Southern Mindanao police region.
A firefight erupted for several minutes before the rebels fled, bringing along their wounded comrades, Rivera said. He said no one was wounded on the government side.
Lt. Col. Roberto Bunagan Jr., 60th Infantry Battalion commander, said a battalion-initiated operation has been going on in the province for days now to drive away NPA rebels fleeing military operations by the Army’s 26th IB in neighboring Loreto town, Agusan del Sur province.
Bunagan said Thursday’s firefight resulted in the death of one male rebel – whose body was recovered by soldiers.
He said troops also recovered several firearms, an improvised explosive device, a portable solar panel, cellular phones and backpacks containing personal belongings believed owned by rebels.
In Baganga, Davao Oriental, a soldier belonging to the 67th Infantry Battalion was killed and another one was wounded during a clash on Wednesday, the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom)
Capt. Alberto Caber, Eastmincom spokesperson, said the soldiers were conducting security patrol in the area when they were fired upon by the NPA.
He did not identify the slain soldier. (Frinston Lim and Germelina Lacorte, Inquirer Mindanao)
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