3 rebels killed in clash in Masbate

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) – Three New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were reported killed following a series of skirmishes with government forces in the island province of Masbate in central Philippines this morning, a military official said.

The fighting also resulted in the recovery of a large cache of firearms and improvised explosive devices left by insurgents as they escaped, said Angelo Guzman, spokesman of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division.

Guzman said forces of the 9th Infantry Battalion were deployed to the areas following information provided by civilians. The first firefight broke out at around 05:45 a.m. local time in a village at the boundaries of Dimasalang and Palanas towns against more or less 15 rebels. The rebels fled 20 minutes later, leaving behind a dead soldier.

In another firefight at around 10:40 a.m. local time at the village of Caraga in Baleno town, government soldiers fought with 10 rebels, resulting in the recover of two M16 rifles, a Garand rifle, a shotgun and four IEDs.

Guzman said that based on reports coming from the villagers, at least two rebels were reported killed in the Baleno encounter though no rebel bodies were found. He said they are trying to validate the information.
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