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Masbate Clash Left One NPA Rebel Dead

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur - A clash between Army soldiers and NPA terrorist rebels left one rebel dead two days ago, a military official said.

LtCol Anthony Purugganan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Battalion said that a platoon from his battalion encountered more or less 5 NPA rebels at Quezon village of Cataingan town at around 11:30pm on August 19 (Thursday).

"My soldiers were conducting security patrol in the village when they spotted at least 5 NPA rebels belonging to the Front Committee 83-South of the CPP-NPA-NDF. The firefight erupted when the soldiers were shot at by the rebels who started to scamper away upon seeing the approaching soldiers," Purugganan stated.

One rebel lay dead after a 5-minute exchange of gunfire with the soldiers. A Cal .38 revolver was also found in his possession.

First Lieutenant Ronnie Garchitorena, platoon leader of the engaged soldiers, identified the slain rebel as a certain Pastor Ilaran a.k.a. Sayong.

The cadaver of the dead rebel was brought to Cataingan district hospital for post mortem examination.

Pursuit operations are ongoing to flush the rebels who reported to be starting their extortion activities in some parts of Masbate province.