Sunday, April 22, 2012

6 NPA Rebels Die in a clash with Army soldiers

NATONIN, Mt. Province--Six NPA rebels were killed in an armed clash with Army soldiers in a remote and mountainous village here yesterday, April 21.

Lt. Col. Steve Crespillo, the Commanding Officer of the 54th Infantry Battalion, said that the firefight erupted when at least 15 rebels led by a certain Artus Talastas engaged a platoon of soldiers who were sent for security patrol in the hinterland sub-village of Tappo in Bayawel village, at around 6:00am.

The soldiers traded gunfires with the rebels who occupied fortified positions in an encampment which had three observation outposts manned by rebels with heavy caliber firearms.

"The rebels retreated in disarray with their casualties after several minutes of gunfight. My soldiers relentlessly pursued them through the blood traces, and engaged them in a running gunbattle which lasted about 45 minutes," he said.

Civilians whom they met along the way revealed that the rebels incurred 6 fatalities including a female fighter.

Soldiers are now combing the outskirts of the village to locate the dead bandits in order to identify them, and to give them proper burial rites.

The troops confiscated an M16 rifle, several live ammunitions for M203 Grenade launcher, rifle grenades, sniper rifle scope, binocular and subversive documents of high intelligence value.

The soldiers also seized the NPA encampment which they have used as a staging point for armed attacks and extortion activities in the surrounding villages.

Crespillo also said that no civilians were harmed in the encounter.

"The clash happened in a mountainous area several kilometers away from the populated areas. The village officials have also said that no one among their fellow villagers were harmed in the clash," he said.

"We are not happy to harm anyone in this area. We are still requesting the remnants of the rebel group to finally lay down their arms and refrain from using armed violence to solve our various problems," added Crespillo.

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