TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED)-A clash between government troops and alleged New Peoples Army (NPA) rebels in Isabela province left seven soldiers wounded on early Monday morning, June 4.
In a report Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) said the encounter happened in Barangay Mabbayad, Echague, Isabela.
Troops of the 86th Infantry Battalion (86IB) under the Joint Task Force “Tala” of the 5th Infantry Division (5ID) were conducting focused military operations in the said area when they chanced upon the armed men in the said area, 5ID spokesperson Captain Jefferson Somera said.
The army confronted about 20 members of the “terrorist group” led by an unknown individual operating in the area.
Echague police said the troops were ambushed following explosion of IED s which were placed on the trees.
Northern Luzon Command chief spokesperson Lt. Col. Isagani Nato said the firefight lasted for 20 minutes, leaving wounded at least army personnel and an undetermined number from NPA. The remaining rebels fled northeast, Nato added.
Wounded were Sgt Freezer Ma-anao, Cpl Randy Puyao, Cpl Murphy Liyac, Cpl Maureen
Paul Garan, Pfc Eleazar Obiasca, Pfc Melvin Gines and Pvt Jonjon Ponghan, police said in a press release.
The said soldiers were given first aid and airlifted to the Isabela Doctors Hospital and Ester Garcia General Hospital, Cauayan City.
The soldiers were later transferred to the 5ID Hospital in Camp Melchor Dela Cruz, Gamu, Isabela, other reports stated.
Five days prior to the clash, military and rebel troops had another encounter in Sitio Diersatan, Barangay Benguet of the same town.
“NOLCOM will continue to conduct pursuit and focused military operations in coordination with other law enforcing units, in order to bring these terrorist groups, detrimental to people’s safety and hindrance to community development, into the hands of the authorities,” the army said. Norternforum.net