ZAMBOANGA CITY: Security forces on Friday continued pursuing communist rebels blamed for a daring attack on a police headquarters in the town of Alegria in the southern province of Surigao del Norte.
Officials said the attack sparked a firefight that killed at least two New People’s Army (NPA) rebels on Thursday, but two cops were also wounded in the battle and four others were taken as hostages by the communist group.
“Joint police and army pursuit operations are ongoing,” said Capt. Alberto Caber, a spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command.
Police forces recovered the bodies of the slain rebels who remain unidentified and the truck they used in the attack.
The wounded policemen were identified as PO2 Reuben Salino and PO2 Romero Dagsa.
Officials said the four officers taken by the rebels were PO3 Vic Concon, PO1 Rey Morales, PO1 Joen Zabala and PO1 Edito Roquiño. There were no reports of civilian casualties in the rebel attack.
The fighting also cut off land travel in the town of Alegria and Kitcharao for several hours on Thursday as security forces pursued the rebels to rescue the hostages.
There was no immediate statement from the NPA. The rebels have been fighting for a separate state for many decades now.