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9 rebels killed in brief clash

By: Aaron Recuenco

At least nine communist rebels died while a soldier was wounded during a brief firefight yesterday morning in Carranglan town of Nueva Ecija.

Senior Supt. Antonio Yarra, director of the Bueva Ecija provincial police said the clash erupted when soldiers from the 84th Infantry Battalion were sent to Barangay Burgos over reports of the presence of armed men in the area.

“The residents reported the presence of armed men in their area. The soldiers went to the area and that is the start of the firefight,” said Yarra.

Yarra said the clash occurred at around 7:30 a.m. yesterday and ended at around 10 a.m.

Lt. Col. Isagani Nato, spokesman of the Northern Luzon Command said all the nine cadavers were recovered in the clash site. He said they are now verifying the identity of all of them.

Seized after the clash were five M16 rifles, an AK 47, an M14 rifle and two grenade launchers. Also recovered were backpacks containing several documents.

“Our pursuit operations continue,” said Nato.

Nato added that a coroporal was also wounded in the clash and was taken to the hospital for treatment. The 4,000-strong New People’s Army has been waging more than four decades of armed struggle against the government. Attempts to sign a peace pact with the group have repeatedly bogged down, the recent was with the Duterte administration.

Duterte earlier said that he is still open to peace talks with the communist rebels.