A SOLDIER was wounded in a clash with New People's Army (NPA) rebels in the hinterlands of Bukidnon, a military official said Tuesday.

Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) information officer Captain Alberto Caber said the firefight took place around 5 a.m. Tuesday in Kalanganan, San Vicente, Bukidnon.

Caber did not reveal the wounded soldier's identity who is assigned with the Army's 1st Special Forces Battalion.

Caber said the clash broke out and lasted for about 20 minutes while the soldiers were checking the reported extortion activities by the rebels.

He said the rebels fled to different direction and the troops have recovered an M-16 Armalite rifle and a .45 caliber pistol at the clash site.

He said that Eastmincom commander Lieutenant Generral Ricardo Rainier Cruz, III has directed all military commanders in the area to continue its operations against the extortion and arson units of the NPAs. (Bong Garcia)