At least 16 suspected communist rebels died in intense firefight between the Philippine Army (PA) and New People’s Army (NPA) in Dolores, Eastern Samar on Monday, Aug. 16.
The encounter happened around 4 a.m. at an alleged NPA hideout in Barangay Osmeña where the communist group was making anti-personnel mines.
The NPA hideout was discovered by members of the Joint Task Force Storm involving members of the 8th Infantry Division (8ID), said Colonel Ramon Zagala, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“Our troops acted on information received from the community which pointed them to the terrorists’ hideout where they manufacture their explosives,” he said.
There were reportedly at least 25 NPAs who got killed in the combat operation but Maj. Gen. Pio Diñoso III, commander of 8ID, said they have yet to finalize the death toll since the encounter was still on-going as of this writing.
“Encounter still ongoing that is why scouring and counting not done yet. Though sighted are many NPA casualties while none on the AFP,” Diñoso told the Manila Bulletin.
Zagala issued an update around 5:30 p.m. confirming the death of at least 16 NPA rebels.
“Presently, the focused military operations conducted by the Joint Task Force Storm in Dolores, Eastern Samar resulted to 16 NPA terrorists killed,” he said.
The troops also ceased 29 high-powered firearms from the enemy, he added.
More details to follow.