7 NPA rebels killed in clash with Army troops in Sarangani
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - February 17, 2015 - 5:43pm

MANILA, Philippines —  At least seven communist rebels were killed in an encounter with Army troopers in Alabel, Sarangani on Monday, the military said.

Army reports said the clash between the 73rd Infantry Battalion and the New People's Army (NPA) happened in Sitio Tugal in Barangay Datal Anggas at around 3:30 p.m.

Army's 10th Division spokesperson 1Lt. Vergel Lacambra  said members of the 73rd Infantry Battalion encountered about 30 rebels who belong to the NPA South Mindanao Regional Committee.

Army troopers backed by two MG-520 attack helicopters were able to kill at least seven insurgents.

The military initially reported that nine NPA members were killed during the fire fight but only seven bodies were found.

Maj. Ezra Balagtey, public affairs chief of the Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command, claimed five of the seven fatalities were rebel leaders.

The military identified the slain rebels as alias "Brigol," deputy secretary and political officer of Guerilla Front 71; "JM," a team leader and logistics officer; "Jonas," a rebel team leader;  "Lieutenant," a vice team leader; "Mark," a medic; and a new recruit known by the alias "Monet." The seventh fatality, a female rebel, remains unidentified.

Soldiers seized two AK-47s, an M653 Baby Armalite rifle and six M16 rifles from the rebels.

Also recovered were four improvised land mines, two rifle grenades, medical equipment's and medicines, five radios, 30 backpacks and subversive documents

"We are now conducting a lot of focused military operations to show the NPA that armed struggle is not the right thing to do, that we can destroy them anytime at will and the best option is to lay down their arms and join the mainstream society," said Maj. Gen. Eduardo Ano, chief of the Army's 10th division. 

ARMED FORCES EASTERN MINDANAO COMMAND BABY ARMALITE BARANGAY DATAL ANGGAS EDUARDO ANO EZRA BALAGTEY GUERILLA FRONT INFANTRY BATTALION INFANTRY BATTALION AND THE NEW PEOPLE MAJ SITIO TUGAL
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