By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Members of the Philippine Army 62nd Infantry Battalion (62IB) and Police Regional Office-6 Regional Mobile Force Battalion engaged in a gunbattle Wednesday night with New People’s Army (NPA) insurgents in Kabankalan City’s Barangay Tan-awan.
62IB commander, Lt. Colonel Egberto Dacoscos, said government forces went into the area after monitoring for NPA presence following the recent capture of the rebel group’s hideout in neighboring Himamaylan City.
The military official believes their units engaged around 10 or more NPA rebels in a battle that lasted for at least 15 minutes until the insurgents retreated towards the northeast.
At least one NPA insurgent was killed in the fight based on the heavy blood stains in the encounter site, while one member of the police was also slightly wounded and immediately received medical treatment.
Government forces recovered a rifle grenade, two AK47 magazines, 117 rounds of 7.62 caliber bullets, electrical wires for an improvised explosive device, medical kits, and the rebels’ personal belongings.
The encounter was the third in just one week following earlier clashes in Manjuyod and Himamaylan City./DGB, WDJ