Eight communist rebels and a soldier were killed in a clash in Compostela Valley province early Wednesday morning, the military said.
The encounter in Barangay L.S. Sarmiento in Laak town was the second between the same New People’s Army unit and government troops following a July 10 clash in which soldiers of the 25th Infantry Battalion captured the rebels’ encampment in Barangay Casoon, Monkayo town.
In Wednesday’s gun battle, the military, this time including troops of the 60th IB, seized five M16 rifles and an M60 machinegun from the rebels.
The lone government fatality, whose identity was withheld pending notification of his family, had been wounded and died while being rushed to a hospital.
25th IB commander Lieutenant Colonel Ismael Mandanas said they mountd an operation after receiving reports the rebels were planning to mount tactical offensives ahead of President Rodrigo Dutete’s second state of the nation address later this month.
The military continues to pursue the rebels.