TACLOBAN CITY -- At least two members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed in a firefight with government troops in Hilapnitan village, Baybay City on Thursday, two days after the end of the suspension of military operations (Somo).
Initial reports reaching the Philippine National Police regional office in Palo, Leyte said that government troops encountered 18 NPA members around 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, January 4.
The soldiers from the 78th Infantry Battalion acted on a report from residents regarding the extortion activities of the rebels in the upland village.
An hour-long clash ensued resulting to the death of two NPA members, whose rifles were recovered by the Army.
Troops are still scouring the area to hunt other rebels involved in the reported extortion activity.
The upland areas in Baybay City is known to be one of the hotbeds of armed rebels in Leyte Island. Several encounters between the Army and NPAs have been reported in the area over the past years.
Baybay City is about 107 kilometers southwest of Tacloban City. (PNA)