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Binalbagan gun battle kills 4 rebels

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Four suspected New People’s Army rebels were killed during an encounter yesterday with Army and police troopers in Sitio Amilis, Brgy. Santol, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, that also resulted in the recovery of four high-powered firearms, disclosed Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander.

This was after 19 combatants of the NPA Central Negros (Front) surrendered last week to the 94th Infantry Battalion in Ayungon, Negros Oriental, also surrendered three firearms, Pasaporte said.

He reported that 94IB and 33rd Division Reconnaissance Company troopers, augmented by the PNP 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company responded to reports by civilians on the presence of about 15 NPA rebels, who are remnants of Central Negros (Front) 2, in their community.

The encounter lasted for about three minutes, which prompted the rebels to scamper in various directions, leaving behind four slain comrades, and the recovery of two M16 assault rifles with M203 grenade launcher, M14 assault rifle and a caliber .45 pistol, Pasaporte said.

No casualty was reported on the government side, as pursuit operations against fleeing rebels are still ongoing, as of press time.

Pasaporte said that the rebel group encountered by the Army soldiers and police troopers in the joint operation were also responsible for the ambush and injuries of three Binalbagan policemen early this year.

Another encounter between remnants of the dismantled Northern Negros Front and 79th Infantry Battalion also ensued in Brgy. Marcelo, Calatrava, Negros Occidental.

Lt Col. J-Jay Javines, 79IB commander, disclosed that seven armed rebels were encountered by his troops, also while responding to a report of an informant on presence of the armed group in their area.

War materials, including rifle grenades and a firearm, as well as subversive documents, were recovered by the 79IB from the encounter site.

Javines said that nobody among his troops was injured, while casualties are undetermined in the NPA side.*

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