PIA News Service - Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Soldiers encounter NPAs in Agusan del Sur

BUTUAN CITY (March 10) – An Army soldier was wounded while undetermined number of communist-New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were believed either killed or wounded during a 15-minute fierce gunbattle between operating Army troops and communist insurgents in Mount Tugas, Barangay Maasin, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur province, a report reaching the police regional command and tactical operation center on Wednesday stated. 

Initial report received by Chief Supt. Lino D. Calingasan, regional director of Police Regional office 13 (PRO 13) said that elements of 26th Infantry Battalion (IB) while conducting combat operation engaged an undetermined number of NPA rebels in a fierce firefight at about 6 a.m. Tuesday. 

The wounded Army soldier was identified as Pfc. Armand Paglalunan of the same unit. 

The encountered communists were believed members of Front Committee 88 of the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Command (NMRC), the report from Agusan del Sur police office said. 

Gunship helicopters of the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF) strike wing and helicopter wing were deployed from Bancasi here to extend air cover to the ground troops. 

The field report also said that one section of that same battalion is still conducting blocking position along the rebels escape route of withdrawal while elements of Alpha Company, 26th IB are still pursuing the running NPA rebels. 

Chief Supt. Calingasan also deployed the Agusan del Sur provincial mobile force to assist the Army troops. (muc/PIA-Caraga)