The number of communist rebels killed in an assault by government forces in the hinterlands of Miagao, Iloilo, now stands at 16 while about 30 are believed to have been injured, the military said Friday.
Capt. Roel Maglalang, speaking for the Army’s 301st Brigade, said field reports indicated the jump in fatalities, after only eight were initially recovered following Wednesday’s fighting.
One of the additional fatalities is believed to be a high-ranking leader, but troops and police forensics personnel are still trying to confirm that information, Maglalang said.
“Continuing pa po ang search, retrieval, or possible rescue sa mga namatay, wounded, or whatever na nandoon pa sa taas. Ang wounded siguro ay more or less 30, kasi nasa 70 silang nag-consolidate doon,” he told the Daily Tribune.
Maglalang said government forces conducted an air strike and fired artillery on the lair of Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay’s Southern Front in Sitio Burak, Brgy. Alimodias.
“Di basta makapasok ang tropa kasi ‘yung kampo is laden with landmines, that’s why we used close air support and field artillery.”
The rebel lair was in the mountains, and about 6 to 7 kilometers away from the nearest village, Maglalang said.