A MEMBER of the 24th Infantry Battalion was hurt after a brief clash with members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Abra.
24th Infantry Battalion Commanding Officer Colonel Tomas Baluga said the encounter happened in Sitio Nagas-asan, Barangay Ududyao, Salapadan, Abra when members of the 5th Division were conducting security patrol operations and chanced upon suspected members of the communist rebels.
Authorities said the rebels were believed to be under the Agustin Begneden Command operating in the Cordillera-Ilocos Regional Party Committee under the leadership of a certain Abdul Sidayao.
The identity of the wounded army soldier was not released but is now undergoing treatment in a hospital for a gunshot wound in the thigh.
"The Northern Luzon Command will continue its military operations in the province of Abra and the different Barangays of Isabela where extortion activities of the rebel groups have been reported," Baluga stated.
Earlier this month, another encounter between the army and the NPA's transpired at Barangay Alangtin, Tubo-Abra resulting in the wounding of two army soldiers.
During the last quarter meeting of the Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council meeting in Abra this month, the Northern Luzon Command reported the various extortion activities being committed by the NPA's against businessmen in various parts of Northern Luzon.