COLUMBIO, Sultan Kudarat-- A communist rebel lay dead in a clash with Army soldiers here at 6:00 am today.
Lt Col Alexis Bravo, the Commanding Officer of the 27th Infantry Battalion, said that a platoon of his unit led by 2nd Lieutenant Jason Ramos was conducting security patrols in Sitio Tiruray, Telafas village when they chanced upon a band of heavily armed NPA rebels, numbering about 15.
A fierce firefight ensued when the rebels started firing their guns upon seeing the approaching soldiers.
The exchange of gunfire between the two groups lasted about an hour after which the bandits fled, dragging along their casualties.
The soldiers who scoured the encounter site found the lifeless body of one rebel.
No one was reported hurt among the government forces who seized 5 highpowered firearms including 3 M14 Assault Rifles and 2 M16 Assault Rifles.
More soldiers were sent to track down the rebels following the blood traces they left behind.
Civilian tipsters have continuously provided information about the rebels who are extorting money and food supplies from the local residents.