THE government troops have recovered war materiel and personal belongings following a one-and-a-half hour clash with New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, a top military official announced on Monday, December 11.
Brigadier General Roseller Murillo, Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, said the firefight happened around 3 p.m. Sunday, December 10, in the village of Gasa, Lakewood municipality.
Murillo said among the war materiel the troops hve recovered were: one M-60 caliber 7.62 millimeter light machine gun; one M-16 Armalite rifle; one anti-personnel mine; medical supplies; jungle hammocks; and, backpacks.
“We believe that the enemy (NPA rebels) incurred heavy casualties since bloodstains were seen by troops in their withdrawal route,” Murillo said.
He said there was no casualties on the side of the troops from the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion.
He said the other units were directed to deploy forces on the probable withdrawal route of the NPA rebels while pursuit operation has been launched.
Sunday’s clash took place two days after an NPA rebels was killed in a clash with the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion troops also in the village of Gasa, Lakewood.
Murillo said the location of the clash on Sunday was “just a few kilometers away from the first encounter site” that occurred on Friday, December 8.
The NPA rebels belong to the SECOM-KARA of the NPA’s Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC). - Bong Garcia