7 soldiers 5 rebels die Isabela clash
AFP © Soldiers guard a road in the southern Philippine town of Datu Salibo, an area known for Muslim rebel activity, in October. Seven Philippine soldiers were killed and eight others wounded Saturday in a clash with communist guerrillas who are waging a decades-old Maoist insurgency, the military said. Image Source: au.news.yahoo.com

MANILA — Army troopers clashed recently with a large band of communist rebels in a remote area of Isabela, resulting in the death of seven soldiers and five rebels and the wounding of 16 others from both sides.

Col. Cirilito Sobejana, acting Army spokesman, said the clash erupted when elements of the 52nd Division Reconnaissance Company chanced upon more than 30 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Barangay Mabayab, San Guillermo town.

“The encounter is a result of anti-insurgency operations of our troops,” Sobejana said.

He said the rebels were led by a certain “Ka Mon,” a local NPA leader operating in Cagayan Valley Region.

The clash lasted for nearly two hours. Sobejana said the fatalities were one officer with a rank of second lieutenant and six enlisted personnel.

He said the seventh fatality succumbed to bullet wounds in the hospital.

“The reports we received from the ground confirmed the death of five on the enemy side and wounding of eight others,” Sobejana said.

The official said Army soldiers had been conducting operations in the area since they received reports of rebel sightings in the past days. (Manila Bulletin)

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