Communist rebels said they had killed four soldiers during a raid on a New People’s Army (NPA) encampment in the forested mountain area of San Roque village in Kitcharao town, Agusan del Norte on Monday.
Ka Oto, spokesperson of the NPA’s Front Committee 16 in Northeastern Mindanao, said the rebels successfully detonated improvised explosive devices planted on the camp in which four members of the raiding team were killed.
“Before the camp was overran, our comrades detonated explosive devices. Based on the accounts of eyewitnesses in the area, four soldiers were killed and scores wounded,” Oto said in a radio interview.
Oto’s claim could not be independently verified but the military denied that it suffered heavy losses in Kitcharao on August 28.
Oto also admitted that one NPA rebel was killed while two others were injured in the fierce gunfight that led to the capture of its encampment.
The camp, which had 12 make-shift huts, a kitchen and listening posts with running trenches, is located about 1.5 kilometers from barangay proper of San Roque.
Lt. Col. Glen Aynera, commander of 26th Infantry Batallion, said his troops seized four AK 47 rifles, one M16 Armalite rifle, one M14 rifle, landmines, assorted ammunitions, handheld radios, subversive documents, medical supplies and foodstuffs left by the NPAs in the encounter site.
Aynera said that they learned the existence of the camp through tips from civilians which enabled them to locate and monitor the rebels’ movements.
Pursuit operations are ongoing against the fleeing rebels in San Roque area, he said.
“Tuloy ang aming pursuit operation against the fleeing rebels while our peace and development will also step up in Agusan del Norte,” Aynera said.
Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, commanding general of the Army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID), on Wednesday commended the operating 29th IB troops for “clearing the enemy line” in Agusan del Norte. By CLC