By Mar Supnad
Three army soldiers were killed while two others were injured Sunday afternoon during the three hours gun battle between the government troops and suspected NPA (New People’s Army) rebels in Besao, Mt Province.
Worse, the heavy firearms of the killed soldiers were also seized by the rebels as they fled toward forested area.
Reports from the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) said troops clashed again with the Communist NPA Terrorist Group (CNTG) in the vicinity of Sitio Dandanac, Barangay Tamboan, Besao, Mt Province.
The army said that while they were conducting combat operations, the 81st Infantry Battalion (81IB) of the Joint Task Force (JTF) “Kaugnay” encountered undetermined number of NPA believed to be members of Kilusang Larangang Gerilya (KLG) AMPIS under @DIGBAY.
The said encounter lasted for more than three hours which ended at about 6:p.m.
The intense firefight resulted in the death of three and wounding of two soldiers on the government side, while undetermined casualties on the enemy side.
Their identities have not yet been released by the army.
The government troops also incurred the loss of one K3 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), two R4 Rifles, an M203 grenade launcher attached to one of the rifles and a Harris handheld radio, the report said.
Reinforcements were sent immediately in the encounter site and Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC) was conducted the wounded and slain soldiers.
As of press time, soldiers from NOLCOM are still on hot pursuit operations against the withdrawing NPAs.
It can be recalled that a day before, July 14, 2018 (Saturday), an encounter also took place at 8:40 AM in the same area after the 81IB initiated its combat operations to clear the area of Communist NPA Terrorists.
NOLCOM forces will remain relentless in pursuing the NPA, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) armed component, in identified CT lairs to prevent them from further conducting hostile actions against soft targets and our communities, the army added.-