Army overruns NPA camp in Agusan Sur

October 6, 2011 10:34 pm 

By Ben Cal

MANILA, Oct. 6 – Army scout rangers, supported by helicopter gunships of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), on Thursday overran a camp of the New People’s Army (NPA) after a fierce gun battle in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, a military spokesman said.

The capture of the rebel camp came hours after Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr. ordered an all-out offensive against NPA rebels who attacked three mining companies in Claver, Agusan del Norte on Monday.

Maj. Eugene Osias Jr., spokesman of the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (PA) based in Cagayan de Oro, said elements of the Army’s 5th Scout Ranger Company surprised NPA rebels who were preparing for lunch in their hideout in Sitio Simontana, Barangay Calabuan, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur at 11 Thursday morning.

Osias said one soldier was killed and three others wounded in the firefight.

The scout rangers called for air support at the height of the gun battle.

Shortly thereafter an Air Force UH-1H “Huey” helicopter gunship arrived and fired air-to-ground rockets and M60 machines at the undetermined rebels.

The NPA rebels under Jorge Madlos abandoned their camp under a hail of gunfire and rockets fired by government forces.

Osias said government troops were still pursuing the fleeing rebels as of 4:30 pm Thursday.

In his directive, Oban said he wanted result of the military offensive.

The fall of the NPA camp in Esperanza town was the result of Oban’s directive to get the rebels who raided the three mining firms in Claver last Monday. (PNA) RMA/RBC/utb

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