Guns, ammo recovered after NPA-Army skirmish in Kalinga

CAMP MELCHOR DELA CRUZ, Isabela -- A platoon of Army soldiers recovered high-powered guns and explosives after a 30-minute skirmish with some 20 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels on the mountains of Barangay Buaya in Balbalan, Kalinga around 4:50 a.m. on Wednesday, the military said.

Recovered were an M-16 Armalite rifle, two fragmentation grenades, 150 pieces of assorted bullets, personal belongings and anti-government documents.

Colonel Henry Doyaoen, 503rd Infantry Brigade commander, told the Philippine News Agency that 50th Infantry Battalion soldiers and Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) volunteers were conducting foot patrol after receiving a tip from villagers on communist guerillas' presence somewhere between the Buaya and Mabaca villages, when they encountered the rebels belonging to the Alejo Cawilan Command operating in the Cordillera region.

An unknown number of NPA members were believed hurt in the clash as bloodstains were seen at their withdrawal route.

A pursuit operation against the rebels is ongoing as of this writing.

The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by both the United States and European Union. (PNA)

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