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Rebel killed, soldier hurt, guns seized as troops, NPA clash in Kalinga, Cam Sur

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A suspected member of the New People’s Army was killed, a soldier was injured, and some firearms were seized when government forces clashed with units of the rebel group in Kalinga and Camarines Sur on Sunday afternoon, the military reported.

Soldiers and policemen recovered the body of the still unidentified rebel after the clash in Ragay, Camarines Sur, according to a report from the Army’s 9th Infantry Division.

Members of the 9th Infantry Battalion, 92nd Division Reconnaissance Company, and different police units were conducting security operations in Brgy. Salvacion around 2 p.m., when they encountered at least 10 rebels, the report said.

A 30-minute gunfight ensued before surviving rebels withdrew, it said.

Aside from the still unidentified fatality, government forces recovered two M16 rifles and a bandolier at the clash site.

Lt. Col. Cleto Lelina Jr., 9th IB commander, directed troops to continue scouring nearby towns to locate the fleeing rebels.

Brig. Gen. Jaime Abawag Jr., 902nd Infantry Brigade commander, noted that Sunday’s clash came just days after two other skirmishes transpired in Del Gallego town last December 10.

The earlier incidents resulted in the recovery of three molotov bombs, four detonators, two cellphones, three jungle packs, propaganda materials, and personal belongings.

“These succesful engagements send a strong message about the persistent and consistent operations of the security sector against the terrorist group,” Abawag said.

Later on Sunday afternoon, around 4:45 p.m., members of the 50th Infantry Battalion encountered an undetermined number of communist rebels in Sitio Tanap, Brgy. Mabaca, of Balbalan, Kalinga, according to a report from the Armed Forces’ Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM).

The 5-minute firefight resulted in the wounding of one soldier and the capture of two M16 rifles, an M653 rifle, a backpack, hand grenade, three improvised bombs, documents, and personal belongings, NOLCOM acting commander Brig. Gen. Andrew Costelo said.

It has yet to be determined if the rebels incurred casualties, but additional forces have been deployed to the area to prevent “possible enemy diversionary tactics,” said Brig. Gen. Santiago Enginco, 503rd Infantry Brigade commander.

“K9 and EOD teams were also alerted for possible insertions,” he added.

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