A NEW People's Army (NPA) rebel was killed in a clash with government forces in Agusan del Sur, the military reported.

The 65th Infantry Battalion (65IB) reported that the clash happened Friday, July 22, 2022, in an uninhabited area in Sta. Cruz, Sibagat in Agusan del Sur.

According to the report, the troops of 65IB were on a security operation when they encountered around 10 NPA rebels operating in Sibagat and Bayugan City.

The firefight lasted around 15 minutes. The troops of 65IB cleared and secured the area and monitored the presence of fleeing rebels and probable routes.

At the site, they recovered the dead body of an NPA rebel, one high-powered firearm, one anti-personnel mine, two backpacks, personal belongings and several ammunition.

The dead body was turned over to Sibagat Police Station for proper disposition and coordination to inform the family.

Lieutenant Colonel Emerson de Vera, the commanding officer of 65IB, said the death of the NPA would not have occurred if the rebel group heeded the government's call for them to surrender and avail the benefits of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip).

"Our troops will not stop until the communities in our area will be freed from NPA terrorists’ harassment and intimidation," De Vera said.

The troops of 65IB are still in pursuit.