1 NPA killed, scores wounded as AFP troops foil communist terrorists extortion in a gunbattle

September 3, 2009 10:26 pm 

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 4 –- A member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed while unaccounted number of other rebels were believed seriously wounded as combat maneuvering troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) clashed with them during a foiled alleged terrorists activities in Southern Mindanao, a military report on Friday said.

Col. Rainier Cruz, commanding officer of the Army’s 1002nd Infantry Brigade, said the gunbattle erupted when residents asked assistance about the presence of communist insurgents who were allegedly conducting extortion activities at Blasan area, in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur.

Troops of the 1002nd Brigade, who were conducting community based social activities, immediately responded and engaged the rebels at 10:30 am on Thursday, Col. Cruz said.

He said the encountered communist terrorists were members of the local terrorists front (LTF) 76 of the CPP-NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).

The gunfight lasted for almost 15 minutes before the rebels ran away towards a nearby forested area dragging along with them their unaccounted number of wounded, Col. Cruz said.

“The local communist terrorists who suffered heavy casualties were carried along by their comrades as witnessed by the local residents,” he said.

One dead terrorist member was left behind with his M16 Armalite rifle and live ammunition, he added.

“The Thursday encounter was a result of the tip-off information from the residents who reported the presence of the said local terrorists in Blasan area conducting extortion activities and terrorizing the local residents,” stressed Col. Cruz.

He said operating troops have already coordinated with the local leaders for the identification of the dead NPA and for proper disposition.

No casualties were reported on the troops.

“It is unfortunate that we have to lose one of our brothers when they have the option to live a normal life. Our troops who are conducting community based activities are there not only to protect the people from local terrorists but also they are there to assist the delivery of programs of the government and offer assistance for those who wanted to go back to the mainstream society,” Col. Cruz said.

Meanwhile, Capt. Rosa Ma. Cristina R. Manuel, public affairs officer of 10th Infantry (Agila) Division on Friday said massive hot pursuit operation conducted by the 1002nd Brigade against the fleeing communists terrorists in Blasan area is still on-going. (PNA)

FFC/MUC/mec

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