A MEMBER of the New People’s Army was killed while an undetermined number of other rebels were wounded in a clash between government troops and the terrorist group Sunday night in Las Navas, Northern Samar.
The encounter occurred 9 p.m. in Tagan-ayan village as soldiers acted on a report of concerned citizens on the presence of five armed rebels in their area, the Philippine Army reported on Monday.
No casualty was reported on the government side composed of troops from the 20th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army based in the said town.
Soldiers recovered a submachine gun with one magazine and nine rounds of 9mm “ball ammunition” from the clash site.
The military brought the body of the slain rebel to the local police by airlifting it from the upland village through a helicopter.
“There are reports that wounded rebels were sighted at the rural health unit and Catubig Hospital seeking for medical attention. Coordination is now made with our police counterparts to track down the location of reported wounded NPAs for the filing of an appropriate criminal case,” the 20th IB said in a statement.
Government troops have stepped up patrol operations against rebels as they have been reportedly attempting to collect permit to campaign fees from some politicians.
The 4th class town of Las Navas has been known as the site of recent atrocities committed by NPAs.
On April 25, the village chief of San Miguel was gunned down by rebels while on board a motorcycle. The village official was a known supporter of the military.
A week earlier, a 10-year-old boy was killed when communist rebels detonated a landmine in an attempt to attack soldiers.
On April 16, two soldiers were killed by rebels while inspecting an ongoing road project in San Antonio and Catotogan villages, also in Las Navas.
The NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is considered as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines
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