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NPA leader captured in Sarangani province

DAVAO CITY – Government soldiers captured a senior communist New People’s Army rebel leader who was wounded in a clash Monday in Sarangani province in southern Philippines, an army spokesman said.

Major Ezra Balagtey, of the Eastern Mindanao Command, said Pablito Torno was cornered by troops in Amsipit village in Maasim town near where the clashes occurred.

Torno was immediately given first aid by his captors – members of the 27th Infantry Battalion under Colonel Jones Otida – before bringing him to hospital in General Santos City. The rebel leader is being guarded tightly in the hospital.

Balagtey said troops also recovered three M16 automatic rifles, one rifle grenade, one fragmentation grenade, three handheld radios and eight backpacks containing anti-government propaganda.

There was no immediate statement from the rebel group on Torno’s capture. The rebels have been fighting for a separate state for the past decades. (Mindanao Examiner)

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