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High-powered guns, explosives seized as troops, NPA clash in Quezon




(Photo courtesy of Army 2nd Infantry Division)

Security forces seized five high-powered firearms and explosives following a clash with members of the New People’s Army in Mulanay, Quezon, authorities reported.

Troops of the 85th Infantry Battalion and local police encountered about 10 rebels around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, in Sitio Bayabas, Brgy. Bolo, according to a report from the Quezon provincial police.

The rebel squad, which included two female fighters, belong to Sub-Regional Military Area 4B under Ronnel Batarlo alias “Marwin,” the report said.

The firefight lasted for about 25 minutes before the rebels withdrew to the north, it said.

In a separate report, the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division said government forces incurred no casualties during the skirmish, and have yet to determine if there were any among the rebels.

Soldiers and policemen seized three M16 rifles, an AK-47 rifle, an M203 grenade launcher, 12 magazines, four bandoliers, over 200 rounds of live ammunition, three rifle-fired grenades, an improvised bomb, and a blasting cap, from the site.

Also found in the area were five backpacks, rain boots, ponchos, hammocks, cooking utensils, flashlights, medical kits, a handheld radio, flash drive, documents, and personal belongings.

Maj. Gen. Greg Almerol, 2nd ID commander, said the operation was a result of real-time information on NPA presence, provided by “concerned citizens” and former rebels.

Military units and assets have been placed on high alert for incidents that could stem from the clash, he said.