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1 Soldier Killed in NPA Encounter in Zamboanga del Sur

Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur, March 6 – A soldier died in an armed encounter between the 10th Infantry Battalion of 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division and an undetermined number of armed men believed to be members of the NPA Wednesday morning in Sitio Sabangan, Barangay Dumalinao, Municipality of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur.

A platoon of 10th IB was on routine security patrol when they were fired upon by the NPA group allegedly belonging to the remnants of Section Committee Feliciano Alpha. An hour long gun-battle ensued resulting to discovery of temporary encampment and recovery of subversive documents. There was lone casualty on the government side while undetermined casualties from the NPA side. The name of the soldier is withheld prior notification of his next of kin.

Another platoon reinforced the engaged troops and the soldiers continue the pursuit operations of the NPA bandits.

Captain Franco Salvador M Suelto, Acting Division Public Affairs Officer, said, “The NPA location is deep in the forested areas of the provincial boundary between Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte." 

"This is a clear indication that they are encamping in unhabitable areas because they already loss the support of the local populace in their traditional areas due to continuous Bayanihan (Peace and Development) Activities'" added Suelto.

He said the NPAs in Zamboanga del Sur are now tired and facing hardship on continuous evasion of military troops.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Gerardo F Barrientos Jr AFP, Commander of 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division said, “We extend our deepest sympathies to the love ones of our soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice in name of Peace and Development."

"With this," the commanding general added, "the Tabak Division through its field units will pursue the remnants of the NPA armed group in Zamboanga del Sur to finally declare the province as Peaceful and Ready for Further Development this year."

The Army is inducing them to abandon the armed struggle and engage in peace negotiations with the government. RANAO STAR
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