By Francis Wakefield
Six soldiers were wounded following in an intense 20-minute encounter with suspected Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) in Echague, Isabela today, the army reported.
Captain Jefferson Somera, 5th Infantry Division (5ID) spokesman, said the gun battle happened in Barangay Mabbayad in Echague about 5 a.m. while troopers from the army’s 86th Infantry Battalion were conducting security patrol operations in the area.
Somera said the 20 armed fighters of the NPA retreated during the battle as they, too, suffered casualties. They fled in the northeast direction of Mabbayad.
Somera stopped short of naming the six wounded soldiers but assured that they were already out of danger.
Some of them were taken to the Isabela Doctors’ Hospital while others were recuperating at the Dr. Ester Garcia General Hospital in Cauyan City, Isabela.