ZAMBOANGA

1 killed as troops raid NPA hideout

ZAMBOANGA. Troops captured on Wednesday, December 4, a New People's Army hideout in the village of Durian, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte and recovered high-powered firearms, computers, a generator set, backpacks, food supplies, medicines, subversive documents, and other personal belongings. (Contributed photo)

A COMMUNIST rebel was killed as government troops raided an New People's Army (NPA) hideout in the hinterlands of Agusan del Norte, military officials said.

Lieutenant Colonel Ezra Balagtey, Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) information officer, said members of the Army's 23rd Infantry Battalion raided the NPA hideout at 8:05 a.m. Wednesday, December 4, in Sitio San Jose in the village of Durian, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte following receipt of information from residents in the area.

In September, the officials and residents of the village of Durian, Las Nieves declared the NPA rebels as persona non grata.

Balagtey said the platoon-sized NPA rebels abandoned their hideout and fled to different directions, leaving their slain comrade following a 15-minute firefight.

Balagtey said the troops turned over the remains of the slain NPA rebel to the officials of Durian village for identification and proper disposition.

He said troops recovered from the captured NPA hideout one AK-47 assault rifle, two M-16 Armalite rifles, four Laptop computers, one generator set, 21 backpacks, two sacks of rice, food supplies, medicines, subversive documents, and other personal belongings.

He said the same group of NPA rebels clashed with the Army's 23rd Infantry Battalion on November 30 in Sitio Salvacion in the village of Manila de Bugabos, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte. The incident resulted in the death of a 16-year-old boy.

The boy was reported missing by his family since February 2019.

The NPA rebels who figured in the two clashes -- on Wednesday and November 30 -- have been monitored to be operating in Agusan del Norte, particularly near the boundary of Misamis Oriental.

"You have been warned by no less than the communities who do not want your presence in their area. We will be relentless in our combat operations to run after those who continue to embrace the violent armed struggle and we will use all legal means to go after you," Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr., Eastmincom chief, warned the rebels. (SunStar Zamboanga)


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