2 NPA rebels, 2 soldiers killed in firefights

MANILA, Philippines – Two soldiers and 2 communist rebels have been killed in firefights in Sorsogon and Camarines Sur provinces, the military said Thursday.

Army troops clashed with around 45 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels near San Isidro village in Bulusan town, Sorsogon on Thursday morning, killing 2 government soldiers.

Three other soldiers were injured in the firefight, according to Maj. Angelo Guzman, spokesman of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division.

“Though we did not recover a body, there are indications of casualties on their side. There are blood traces in the area and we believe they carried their injured or dead comrades as they retreated,” he said.

In a separate clash in Iriga City in Camarines Sur, a firefight between troops belonging to the Army’s 42nd Infantry Battalion and the NPA resulted in 2 fatalities on the rebel side.

“They soldiers were on their way to conduct a patrol when they were fired upon by the rebels. We believe they (rebels) went down the mountains to collect money,” Guzman said.

The bodies of the 2 slain rebels, identified only as one alias Jeff and one alias Tony, were recovered.

Government troops also found a caliber .45 pistol and a 9 mm handgun in the area.

Edgardo Sevilla, alias Palong, an alleged NPA finance officer, was also captured by soldiers, Guzman said.

A Ligao City court has issued arrest warrants for Sevilla, who is wanted for murder, attempted murder and frustrated murder, the Army spokesman said.

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