Soldier killed in encounter with NPA in Agusan del Norte

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ONE soldier was killed and a rebel was captured after a firefight between government troops and the New People’s Army (NPA) on Monday in a remote village in Agusan del Norte province, police reports said on Tuesday.

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Reports at the Philippine National Police National Operations Center in Camp Crame named the slain soldier as Pfc. Rey Pastrana, a member of the army’s 42nd Division Reconnaissance Coy of the 4th Infrantry Division.

Reports said that the encounter between government troops and the NPA rebels took place at about 7:15 a.m. within the vicinity of Sitio Palo 9, Barangay Poblacion 1, Santiago town, Agusan del Norte.

It added that government troops were on patrol at the said area when they chanced upon a group of at least five NPA rebels triggering a firefight between the two sides lasting for about 10-minutes.

Reports said that Pastrana was hit in the head with a bullet during the firefight and died on the spot.

The rebels reportedly withdrew but their leader, identified as Jerry Banaw alias “Manuel”, was captured by pursuing government troops. ANTHONY VARGAS

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