NPA rebel killed in Sorsogon encounter

GOVERNMENT troops and a band of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels clashed anew early yesterday morning in a remote village in Sorsogon, a province that is a known rebel hotspot.

Reports reaching Camp Aguinaldo said a rebel was killed in the said encounter that took place at around 6:30 a.m. in Brgy. Sta. Lourdes in Barcelona town.

The encounter took place after troops from the Army’s 49th Infantry Battalion were dispatched to the said area to check on the reported presence of heavily armed men late Tuesday evening.

Lt. Col. Santiago Enginco, the commander of the battalion, reported that they received a tip from an informant on the presence of armed men in the area who were reportedly forcing residents to vote a certain candidate for village chief.

As a squad of troops led by First Lt. Sandro Sereno was nearing the area, the soldiers were fired upon by armed men holed up inside a house, triggering a firefight that lasted for 30 minutes.

The rebels quickly escaped towards different directions but left behind a dead comrade.

Troops also seized an M16 rifle, a .45 caliber pistol, an MK2 fragmentation grenade, a rifle grenade, combat pack with subversive documents and campaign materials from the dead rebel.

A child sustained a bullet splinter wound during the shootout. He was immediately treated by Army medics, the military reports said. Anthony Vargas

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