2 alleged rebels killed in Misamis encounter

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Friday, August 3, 2012

MANILA -- Two alleged New People's Army (NPA) rebels were killed following an encounter with government troops in Misamis Oriental on Thursday, the military said Friday.

Major Eugenio Julio Osias IV, spokesman of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said the intermittent fighting between the two sides at the village of Ampianga in Sugbongcogon town lasted until 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Osias said troops from the 58th Infantry Battalion were sent to the area following reports that the insurgents, belonging to the Guerilla Front 4B, were conducting extortion activities, targeting hapless civilians. A firefight ensued around 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

"These NPAs were reported by the people extorting money and other things from them to the 58th IB (which) launched the operation to protect them," said Osias. The encountered rebel group numbered to about 30 men.

Osias said the troops have recovered two enemy bodies left behind at the scene, along with a Garand rifle, a Carbine rifle and 30 backpacks containing personal belongings.

The soldiers are launching pursuit operations against the fleeing rebels. "In the route of withdrawal of the NPAs, spills of blood were also found which indicated more casualties from the rebel group," said Osias.

"This maybe an operational success but we will be happier if these NPAs had surrendered. Loss of lives is the least that we will wish to happen. Your soldiers are here to serve but sometimes it is inevitable that other lives must be taken for the sake of more people," Major General Victor Felix, 4th ID commander, said.

Osias said more lives will be lost and properties will be destroyed if the conflict is prolonged.

"So we appeal to the NPAs to surrender and if they really love the very people they said they are serving they should refrain from conducting atrocities against the people," he added. (VR/Sunnex)

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