Soldiers kill NPA rebel in Butuan

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    GOVERNMENT forces killed a New People’s Army rebel and recovered several high-powered firearms after a firefight with a group of insurgents in Butuan City early last Saturday, the military reported yesterday.

    Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, spokesman of the AFP Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City, said the operation was part of the “sustained” military effort to end insurgency in the eastern Mindanao.

    Balagtey said troops from the Army’s 23rd Infantry Battalion were on combat operation at around 6 a.m. when they caught up with about 20 rebels in Sitio Salvacion in Barangay Manila de Bugabos.

    Balagtey said the rebels retreated after a 15-minute exchange of gunfire, leaving behind the body of one of their comrades, two AK47 rifles and two M653 baby armalite rifles.

    Balagtey said the body of the slain rebel was turned over to the PNP “for proper disposition.”

    Troops from the 29th Infantry Battalion clashed with NPA rebels in Sitio Manhupay, Barangay Bangonay in Jabonga town in Agusan del Sur on Wednesday afternoon.

    Citing a belated report, Balagtey said the rebels scampered to different directions after a brief firefight.