Three Army soldiers were slightly injured during an encounter with about 30 suspected New People’s Army rebels yesterday in Calatrava, Negros Occidental.
Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said yesterday that soldiers of the 79th Infantry Battalion assaulted the temporary harboring area of about 30 NPA rebels in Sitio Putting Tubig, Brgy. Minautok, Calatrava, with the firefight lasting for about one hour.
Three Army soldiers had abrasions on their hands with one in his armpit, after being hit by shrapnels of exploded M203 grenade, Arevalo said.
But Arevalo said they received reports from the populace in the area that the NPA suffered five casualties, based on heavy bloodstains found in their defensive positions, that was later overran by Army soldiers.
Recovered from the encounter site were a magazine containing eight ammunition of M1 Garand carbine rifle, three cellular phones, two cellular phone power banks, a pair of combat boots, a hammock and poncho, as well as 10 kilos of rice.
Lt. Col. Emelito Thaddeus Logan, 79IB commander, said the continuous encounters against the NPA prove that communities no longer want the presence of rebels in their areas.
The encounter took place after almost a month after the 79IB also figured in armed skirmishes with communist rebels in Brgy. Marcelo, Calatrava, that resulted in the killing of three rebels and the recovery of two assault rifles.
Two Air Force helicopters are now assisting the 79IB in the pursuit operations against the fleeing NPA rebels.*
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