NPA bomb factory seized

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    GOVERNMENT troops seized a bomb factory of the New People’s Army in Basey town in Samar on Saturday, preempting possible plans of the communists to conduct roadside bombings, the military said yesterday.

    Troops recovered at the bomb factory five improvised explosive devices (IED), 19 IED shells and components, wires, steel cutters, and documents, said the Army’s 8th Infantry Division based in Samar.

    8th ID spokesman Capt. Ryan Balais said the NPA bomb factory, located at the boundary of Sitios Burabod and Biga in Barangay Mabini, was seized based on information provided by local residents.

    Soldiers from the Army’s 63rd Infantry Battalion, augmented by personnel from the PNP’s 12th Special Action Battalion, did not encounter any rebels when they took control of the factory.

    Balais said the operation effectively preempted plans of the communists to conduct roadside bombings.

    “The plan of the NPA to plant roadside bombs in Samar is not different from the IEDs exploded recently in Sulu,” said 63rd IB commander Lt. Col. Alan Orbito, referring to bombings perpetrated by the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.

    “They are meant to harm even civilians… This kind of evil men are the reason why our people in Samar and the whole country are suffering. They will do every possible way to pursue their evil intent even if it harms the innocent,” added Orbito.

    Brig. Gen. Camilo Ligayo, 801st Brigade commander, commended the residents for reporting the bomb factory.

    In Davao del Sur also on Sunday, two NPA rebels were killed in a firefight with troops from the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Garok, Barangay Sibulan in Sta Cruz town.

    The soldiers were on security operation when they clashed with about 20 members of the Sentro de Grabidad of the NPA’s Pulang Bagani Command.

    Also recovered by the soldiers at the scene were two M16A rifles, two IEDs, and documents.

    1Lt. Walter Jhun Orille, 39th IB civil military operations officer, said the soldiers were approaching the rebel lair when they were fired at by the insurgents, leading to a firefight.