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4 soldiers killed in clash

BANGUED, Abra – At least four soldiers died while one of their comrades wounded with an undetermined number of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels also wounded in a figured fierce encounter in the outskirt Dandanac, Tamboan, Besao, Mt. Province on Sunday. Lieutenant Colonel Isagani Nato, the spokesman of the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), confirmed the encounter and the casualties while undetermined number of NPA rebels were believed to be dragged by the escaping rebels as shown by some scattered bloodstains in their escape routes. Before the encounter, elements of the army’s 81st Infantry Battalion were on focussed combat operations in the area upon receiving reports from their intelligence assets about the presence of the undetermined number of fully-armed rebels terrorising the local residents. The NPA rebels involved in the gunbattle were believed to be members of the Kilusang Larangang Gerilya AMPIS led by a certain Ka Digbay. The gunbattle, which was the second encounter at said place, lasted for three hours. The names of the killed soldiers are still being withheld until their families are informed. (Freddie G. Lazaro)