Troops seize NPA camp in Samar

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    GOVERNMENT troops seized a New People’s Army camp after a firefight with communist rebels in San Jose de Buan town in Samar on Wednesday afternoon, the military said Thursday.

    Five M16 rifles and hundreds of ammunition were recovered after the encounter, said Capt. Reynaldo Aragones, spokesman of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division based in Catbalogan City in Samar.

    Soldiers from the Army’s 87th Infantry Battalion conducted a combat operation in Sitio Salvacion, Barangay San Nicolas after residents reported the presence of NPA rebels extorting money and foodstuff from them.

    Aragones said the operating troops clashed with about 50 rebels at around 1:30 p.m. The communists withdrew four hours later with an undetermined number of casualties, the official said.

    “No soldier was wounded in the skirmish but authorities believe the NPA terrorists could have suffered numerous wounded,” he said.

    Aragones said soldiers subsequently seized the NPA camp that can house 50 to 100 individuals. The camp has 34 huts and a kitchen.

    Aside from the five rifles and ammunition, soldiers also recovered at the camp a generator set, electronic gadgets, food, medicines, medical paraphernalia and documents.

    In Masbate City on Thursday, a policeman and a 12-year-old girl were injured after NPA rebels detonated an improvised bomb near a police precinct.

    A report from the Masbate provincial police office named the injured as Patrolman Marvin Cañas, a member 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company, and Glydine “Mena” Dumas, 12.

    Citing initial investigation, police said the improvised explosive device was planted by NPA rebels at an alley about 30 meters from a police precinct in Purok 3, Barangay Bantique.

    The bomb exploded at around 11:55 p.m., hitting Cañas and Dumas. The blast also damaged four houses nearby.

    Cañas and Dumas were brought to the Masbate Provincial Hospital for abrasions in the left leg and right face, respectively.

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