Troops overrun leftist rebels’ camp in Compostela

September 26
MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) – The Armed Forces of the Philippines overran a camp of New People’s Army (NPA) in the southern Philippines yesterday, the military said today.

The government troops seized the camp yesterday in the mountainous portion of Compostela Valley province, said Lt. Col. Medel Aguilar, public information officer of the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.

“The camp was discovered after a brief firefight between the government troops and the New People’s Army,” Aguilar said.

The platoon engaged the NPA with more or less 60 fully armed members in a 10-minute firefight at noon time. The rebels hastily abandoned their temporary encampment, leaving behind broken pieces of exploded improvised explosive device parts, magazines for M16 and M14 rifles and subversive documents.

A few days after the deployment of the Peace and Development Team (PDT) under Army’s 71st Infantry Battalion, the soldiers received reports from civilians about the presence of armed rebels in the gold-rich area of Sub-village Taglawig, Village Panoraon, Maco, Compostela Valley, and the 71st Infantry Battalion readily dispatched the platoon of soldiers to drive away the armed group, said Aguilar.

There was no casualty on the government side, Aguilar said, adding that pursuit operation is going on to ensure that the armed group could no longer conduct hostilities in the area.

The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been waging a guerrilla campaign in the countryside for four decades. Military estimates the NPA strength at more than 4,000 men scattered in more than 60 guerrilla fronts throughout the country.

Peace talks between the government and the leftists bogged down after the United States included the NPA and its parent body as foreign terrorist organizations in 2002.

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