2 dead, 300 displaced as troops clash with NPA in Negros
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - May 16, 2013 - 6:22pm

MANILA, Philippines - A soldier and a communist rebel were killed since the launching of a major military operation against the New People’s Army (NPA) on Negros Island on Wednesday afternoon.

Capt. Cresencio Gargar, spokesman of the 302nd Infantry Brigade, reported Thursday that around 300 individuals, mostly women and children, have been evacuated from the Sitio Lamabuanon, Barangay Fatima and Sitio Naupao, Barangay San Pedro, Sta. Catalina in Negros Oriental.

Heavy fighting broke out between elements of the Philippine Army's 79th Infantry Battalion and the main NPA body in the two villages on Wednesday afternoon triggering heavy fighting followed by on and off skirmishes.

Gargar said a soldier identified as Pfc. Quin Banas was killed by a sniper as the troops moved to dislodge the insurgents from their well-entrenched position that also resulted to the slaying of a rebel.

“Troops from 79th Infantry Battalion encountered the main body of NPAs Southeast Front of Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros in Sitio Naupao, Brgy San Pedro, Sta Catalina Wednesday afternoon and fighting continue for more than an hour with rebels holding their line before withdrawing toward different directions,” Gargar said.

Troops have recovered the body of the slain rebel.

Gargar added that several rebels may have also been wounded because of the bloodstains found by troops along the escape route of the insurgents.

“We will not stop until they lay down their arms and surrender. In line with the AFP’s Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayan, we will continue the conduct of relentless combat operations against these armed rebels,” Lt. Col. Marion Sison, 79th Infantry Battalion, said.

BARANGAY FATIMA AND SITIO NAUPAO BARANGAY SAN PEDRO BRGY SAN PEDRO CRESENCIO GARGAR GARGAR INFANTRY BATTALION INFANTRY BRIGADE INTERNAL PEACE AND SECURITY PLAN MARION SISON NEGROS ISLAND NEGROS ORIENTAL
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