Friday, April 24, 2020

Soldier killed in clash with NPA rebels in Zambo Sur

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 24, 2020): Soldier killed in clash with NPA rebels in Zambo Sur (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

A soldier was killed after government troops clashed anew against the communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Zamboanga del Sur, military officials said Friday.

Lt. Col. Manaros Boransing II, Army’s 97th Infantry Battalion commander, disclosed the firefight broke out around 7:40 a.m. Friday in Barangay Balukbahan, Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur.

Boransing withheld the identity of the slain soldier, who “was badly wounded during the encounter and expired around 10 a.m. during the emergency air evacuation by our Air Force and our military doctors”.

A pursuit operation has been launched, he said, "to neutralize the NPA rebels" who fled to different directions as the troops out-maneuvered them during the encounter.

On Tuesday, government troops under the 97th Infantry Battalion recovered an M-16 Armalite rifle and an improvised explosive device when they engaged the NPA rebels, also in Barangay Balukbahan, Bayog.
Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, vowed to sustain the focused military operation to destroy the group and make the province of Zamboanga del Sur terrorist-free.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the bereaved families and friends of our soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our people against the terrorist group,” Ponio said.

“Their sacrifices were borne out of their dedication to protecting the constituents of Zamboanga del Sur in pursuit of peace and development,” Ponio added.

He said additional troops have been sent to Bayog town to ensure the safety and security of the populace in the area.

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