GOVERNMENT troops clashed with some 20 members of the New People's Army (NPA) around 10:40 a.m. Sunday in the village of Cambuayon, Surigao del Norte.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala said the encounter involved soldiers from Scout Platoon of the Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion and communist rebels belonging to SPP 16, Guerrilla Front 16.

The firefight, which lasted for 30 minutes, had no casualties from the AFP side. Authorities are still identifying if the NPA suffered from any casualty.

Recovered from the encounter site were four AK 47 rifles and other personal belongings of the rebels.

“Operations are still on-going as of this time. Elements from the 30IB and the Army’s 4th Infantry Division are currently scouring the area to hunt down fleeing rebels while two companies were deployed to conduct blocking operations in the area,” Zagala said. (Third Anne Peralta/Sunnex)