Rebel killed in Masbate encounter

NAGA CITY—A suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebel was slain in a clash with Army troopers in Palanas, Masbate Wednesday morning, said an Army official.

Maj. Angelo Guzman, spokesperson of the 9th Infantry Division based in Camp Elias Angeles in Pili, Camarines Sur, said the communist rebel died in an 18-minute firefight that ensued in the encounter in Barangay (village) Intusan at 6:30 a.m

He said Lt. Col. Julian Pacatan Jr., commander of the 9th Infantry Battalion operating in Masbate island-province, sent a platoon of soldiers to respond to a tip of villagers on the presence of NPA rebels in the area.
Guzman said the government troopers were fired upon by around 12 rebels as they were approaching the village. He said they have yet to identify the slain rebel but the rest of the rebels fled.
Army troopers recovered M16 and M14 rifles and landmine material components in the encounter scene.
Guzman said no one was hurt among the Army troopers while a hot pursuit operation was ongoing and several Army troopers were deployed as blocking forces in several exit routes.
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