ZAMBOANGA CITY: A government soldier was killed and three more wounded in fierce clashes on Friday with communist rebels in Misamis Oriental.
Officials said the fighting erupted in the hinterland village of Umagos in Lagonglong town after patrolling soldiers from 58th Infantry Battalion ran into a group of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels. Another fighting broke out in Kibanban village in the neighboring town of Balingasag.
The wounded soldiers were evacuated to Cagayan de Oro City as the military deployed more soldiers, backed by helicopters, to reinforce the troops fighting rebel forces.
Major Christian Uy, a spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division, said a still undetermined number of rebels were either killed or wounded in the fighting.
“One of our soldiers was killed and three others are wounded in the fighting. There are reports that an undetermined number of rebels were also killed and wounded. The operation against the NPA is still going on,” Uy told The Manila Times.
The military tagged the NPA as behind the killing of Mayor Mario Okinlay of Impasug-ong town in Bukidnon on July 2. The rebels opened fire on the convoy carrying Okinlay who was inspecting a medical mission in the town.
The NPA has been fighting for a separate communist state in the country.