GAMU, Isabela: A firefight broke out between government forces and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members in the hinterlands of Abra province injuring a number of communist rebels, a military official said Saturday. The Army’s 41st Infantry Battalion led by 1Lt. Jesson G. Capoquian of the Gamu town based 5th Infantry Division said the firefight broke out Friday morning in Barangay Gacab, Malibcong, Abra. Col. Loreto Magundayao, spokesman of the Army’s 5th Infantry Division, said the troops were conducting security patrol when they chanced upon at least 15 heavily armed rebels. The firefight ensued and lasted for about five minutes. The rebels withdrew and fled toward southeast from the scene of the encounter, he said. Magundayao said undetermined number of fleeing NPA rebels were believed to have suffered casualties as bloodstains were visible in their withdrawal path. There were no casualties on the government side.