GOVERNMENT troops clashed with suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members on Thursday, January 18, in Abra and Kalinga, leading to the discovery of a rebel’s encampment, a military official said Friday.
Lieutenant Colonel Isagani Nato, Northern Luzon Command public information officer, said that while conducting focus military operations in Barangay Gapang, Pilar, Abra around 12:45 p.m., troops from the 24th Infantry battalion, Joint Task Force Kaugnay and 7th Infantry Division encountered an undetermined number of NPA rebels.
The ensuing firefight lasted for 40 minutes. One Army personnel sustained facial wounds while an undetermined number of casualties were reported on the enemy side.
The troops also discovered an NPA encampment with 14 tents and two bunkers, five backpacks, two holsters for cal .45 pistol, four chargeable flashlights, three slings for M16 rifle, one load bearing gear, one transistor radio, five jungle bolos, assorted documents and other personal belongings.
Earlier that day, another clash between the government troops and NPA guerillas occurred after rebels allegedly harassed residents in Barangay Allaguia, Pinukpuk, Kalinga by firing six rounds from a carbine rifle.
“The successful conduct of Development Support Operations (DSO) was a result of the local community’s participation to rid their localities of these lawless elements. Northern Luzon Command forces will continue to pursue the NPA terrorist group and other threat groups to keep the safety of the people and ensure the security of the area against any threat within its area of responsibility,” Nato said. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)