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Two killed in Agusan Sur encounters

Saret said at least 220 families from Sitio Union and other nearby villages have been forced to vacate their homes due to the armed hostilities

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Hostilities Affected residents of the Agusan del Sur encounters between government troops and the communist rebels are pacified by local officials which also assisted in their evacuation. Below, firearms and explosives recovered from the fleeing rebels. JUN APARECE

Two members of the Communist New People’s Army Terrorist Group (CNTG) were killed after a series of encounters with government troops under the 1001st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army in the hinterlands of Agusan del Sur on Sunday, 8 September.

At least two cadavers of suspected members of the Weakened Guerilla Front 3 under the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army’s (CPP-NPA) Sub-regional Committee 4, Southern Mindanao Command were recovered by the combined troops of the 60th Infantry Battalion and the 25th Infantry Battalion following a series of encounters at Sitio Union, Barangay Binucayan in Loreto on Sunday.

The first terrorist killed was recovered after two hours of sporadic firefighting between the communist terrorists and the 60IB troops Sunday morning. An M-16 rifle, a 15-kilo improvised explosive device and other subversive materials were also recovered at the encounter site.

The body of the second terrorist was recovered after a second firefight in the afternoon between troops of 25IB and the fleeing members of the same communist terrorist group. An M-16 rifle and some personal belongings including some CPP-NPA uniforms were also recovered after the government troops scoured the area.

The troops also found a rifle grenade, 100 meters IED detonating cord, several magazines and ammunition and freshly cooked food.

Saret said at least 220 families from Sitio Union and other nearby villages have been forced to vacate their homes due to the armed hostilities.

Meanwhile, Mayor Lorife Magadan-Otaza of Loreto has convened her emergency response team to assist the affected residents. The local government unit has already provided food, blankets and sleeping mats, and other domestic items to the evacuees.

Mayor Otaza, assisted by the Loreto Municipal Police, has also facilitated the proper disposition of the killed communist terrorists. Their identities are still being confirmed as of the writing of this report.

1001st Infantry Brigade Commander Brig. Gen Gilbert Saret expressed his sympathies to the killed terrorists. “They are still fellow Filipinos and we do not take pride nor joy in killing our countrymen,” he said.

With Francis Wakefield

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