TWO communist New People’s Army rebels were killed in a firefight with government forces in Kalawit town, Zamboanga del Norte on Friday afternoon, the military reported yesterday.
Combined troops from the Army’s 44th, 97th and 42nd infantry battalions conducted the combat operation based on information provided by residents about the presence of the insurgents.
Maj. Arvin Encinas, spokesman of the military’s Western Mindanao Command based in Zamboanga City, said the firefight broke out in the forested area of Purok 5 in Barangay Batayan. Encinas said the rebels withdrew after a 45-minute firefight.
During clearing operations, soldiers recovered at the scene the body of an NPA rebel, an M16 rifle, an AK17 rifle, ammunition, medicines, NPA propaganda materials and personal belongings.
On Saturday morning, Encinas said pursuing troops recovered another dead NPA rebel near the encounter site.
Wesmincom chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said the military has not relented in its operations against the NPA, which President Duterte wants defeated before his term ends in 2022.