NABUNTURAN, Compostela Valley Province---Army soldiers killed an NPA bandit and hurt many others after a clash with an armed band of NPA kidnappers in Katipunan village here at around 9:00 am today (Thursday).
A platoon of soldiers from the 66th Infantry Battalion led by Lt Gammad was conducting pursuit operations against the NPA bandits when they chanced upon at least 30 heavily-armed bandits, triggering an intense exchange of fires.
Incurring casualties, the bandits fled in disarray carrying some dead and wounded comrades but leaving behind one of the fatalities.
Nobody among the soldiers was harmed in the 30-minute running gunbattle with the bandits.
The soldiers seized 6 high-powered firearms including five (5) M16A1 Rifles and an M14 Rifle from the bandits.
"Meron pang mas maraming patay sa kanila na nakita nilang buhat-buhat habang tumakbo papunta sa gubat. Maraming tulo ng dugo ang nagkalat sa kanilang escape route," one of the soldier who was involved in the clash, said.
The Army has mounted search and rescue operation after one soldier was abducted by bandits while buying food provisions in Maco town of the same province 2 days ago.
More and more people have denounced the NPA bandits for the senseless attacks on unarmed members of the Philippine security forces.