BACOLOD CITY: Three suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) were killed while 14 others were arrested on Tuesday during an encounter with the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) in Barangay Tabu, Ilog, Negros Occidental.

LtCol. Ryan Manongdo, commander of the Special Action Battalion 6, said four of the 14 arrested rebels suffered injuries during the encounter, including Nilda Natan Bertulano, secretary of the NPA South West Front.

One SAF trooper was injured in the clash, Manongdo said.

The unidentified bodies of the slain rebels and four M16 assault rifles were recovered from the encounter site.

Manongdo said police troopers chanced upon a group of around 20 armed men led by Bertulano while they were conducting combat operations in the area which led to the encounter and lasted for more than one hour.

Bertulano and the four injured NPA rebels were treated by SAF combat medics before they were transported to a hospital for further treatment, Manongdo said.

The remaining ten rebels were turned over to the Ilog Police Station.