By FRANCO G. REGALA
CAMP AQUINO, Tarlac – Five soldiers from the army’s Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) were wounded in an encounter with armed men believed to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sitio Mureg, Barangay Balani, Sto Niño, Cagayan Thursday.
Lieutenant Coronel Isagani G. Nato, NOLCOM spokesperson, identified the injured soldiers as Sergeant Michael Ammadang, Corporal Ronald A. Inggao, Private First Class Labrador D. Bambalan, Private First Class Bobby Dona-al and Corporal Rodolfo Andres Jr. all members of 17th Infantry Battalion (17IB).
Ammadang and Bambalan sustained gunshot wounds, while Inggao, Dona-al, and Andres Jr. sustained shrapnel wounds.
Nato said the five were conducting routine patrol reconnaissance in the area when attacked by a 30-strong armed group led by a Ka Bladdy.
According to Nato that the firefight lasted for about 20 minutes.
Another firefight ensued an hour later, after pursuing troops caught up with the escaping rebels.
Nato said they cannot yet confirm if there were casualties on the rebels’ side.
Hot pursuit operation is still ongoing.