MANILA, Philippines - Thirteen suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were killed while four others, one of them wounded, were captured in separate encounters with Army troops in Quezon province and Zambales yesterday morning.
A soldier was wounded after he was hit in the arm.
Col. Bob Bacarro, operations chief for the 2nd Infantry Division, said at least 11 NPA guerrillas were killed in the clash between members of the 74th Infantry Battalion (IB) led by Lt. Col. Dennis Perez and an undetermined number of NPA rebels in Sitio Makuyokuyo, Barangay White Cliff, San Narciso town.
Col. Eduardo Ano, commander of the 201st Infantry Brigade, ordered the deployment of additional troops to conduct assault and blocking operations as fighting continues as of press time.
Army soldiers also recovered five M16 rifles, grenade launchers and a shotgun from the insurgents.
The gunfight started at around 11 a.m. while an Army squad was conducting security patrol to verify the reported presence of a big number of NPAs in Sitio Makuyokuyo.
“When our troops were approaching the area they initially encountered around 15 NPAs,” Ano said.
The Army was forced to deploy more troops as more rebels have joined the fighting.
Two rebels were also killed in a separate encounter with members of the 24th IB headed by Lt. Col. Mike Samson in Sitio Bihawo, Barangay Villar, Botolan in Zambales.
Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos, Armed Forces of the Philipines spokesman, said a wounded rebel whom pursuing troops rescued after his fleeing comrades left him for dead, was brought to a hospital.
Burgos said the troops also recovered five high-powered firearms from the rebels. – With Michelle Zoleta - By Jaime Laude