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1 killed in army-rebel clash

One alleged communist rebel was killed and four high-powered firearms were recovered in an encounter in Sitio Salvacion, Barangay Manila de Bugabos, Butuan City, on Sunday.

Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, the spokesperson of Eastern Mindanao Command, said the elements of the 23rd Infantry Battalion engaged the rebels after acting on a tip from the community. The firefight lasted for 15 minutes.

The rebels escaped and left behind a slain comrade. The soldiers recovered two AK-47 and two M653 Baby Armalite rifles.

The body was turned over to the Philippine National Police for proper disposition.

In a separate incident, patrolling elements of the 88th Infantry Battalion clashed with with the NPAs in the forested area of Natampod, Barangay Lumintao, Quezon, Bukidnon at 8 a.m. on Nov 30.

Meanwhile, firearms and various ammunition were recovered by the 29th Infantry Battalion in a gunbattle around 4:30 in the afternoon on Nov. 27 in Sitio Manhupaw, Barangay Bangonay, Jabonga, Agusan del Norte.

The NPAs were believed to be the same group that was encountered by same unit on Nov. 21 in the same area. They scampered to different directions and left one M4A1 rifle, one M14 rifle, one M203 grenade launcher, and personal belongings.

Lt. Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr., commander of Eastern Mindanao Command, thanked the communities for constantly giving information to the military when they see armed men around.

“The NPAs are running out of space as communities drive them from their areas by declaring them persona non grata,” he said. “These encounters are the result of the information by the communities.”

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