Thursday, May 14, 2020

NPA fighter killed in Pinabacdao, Samar clash

From the Philippine News Agency (May 14, 2020): NPA fighter killed in Pinabacdao, Samar clash (By Sarwell Meniano)

SLAIN REBEL. An unidentified fighter of the New People's Army (NPA) killed in a clash with government troops on Wednesday (May 13, 2020). His comrades abandoned him after a 10-minute gun battle in upland Layo village, Pinabacdao town, Samar province. (Photo courtesy of the Philippine Army)

A combatant of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed in a clash with government troops on the outskirts of Pinabacdao town, Samar province on Wednesday, the military said.

The unidentified armed rebel was slain in a 10-minute gun battle
between the soldiers and five rebels in upland Layo village before noon, commander of the Philippine Army’s 801st Brigade, Col. Camilo Ligayo, said.

After the clash, the soldiers
recovered a rifle with an attached grenade launcher, an improvised explosive device, a blasting cap, a bandolier with one long magazine loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition, and two rounds of ammunition for a grenade launcher.

No one from the government side was hurt during the firefight.

The troopers were patrolling the area acting on reports from residents about the extortion activities of the communist terrorist group.

“This is a display of the intensified support of local communities to the government, denouncing the atrocities and activities of the rebel-terrorists. It is a tragedy that another rebel loses his life as a victim of this senseless armed struggle in an attempt to defend a futile ideology,” Ligayo said in a statement on Thursday.

It was the second clash between government troops and the communist terrorist group in Pinabacdao this year.

Last March 11, two NPA fighters and a soldier were killed in a clash in remote Canlobo village.

Layo and Canlobo are two of Pinabacdao’s five remote villages that have been identified by government troops as affected by the communist terrorist group.

These villages have been identified for various interventions by government agencies to wipe out the insurgency.

Pinabacdao, a fourth-class town in Samar with a population of more than 18,000, is 47 km. north of Tacloban, the regional capital.

The military is upbeat about ending the insurgency problem soon with the creation of local task forces to end the local communist armed conflict.

The NPA, which has been engaged in a five-decade armed struggle, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

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