Army captures NPA camp

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews) — Army soldiers overran a rebel camp in Agusan del Sur on Thursday and captured several high-powered firearms and landmines, a military report said.

Major Eugene Julio Osias, public information officer of the 4th Infantry Division, however, said one soldier was killed while three others were wounded in the ensuing firefight in Barangay Calabuan, Esperanza town.

“The wounded soldiers were extricated by our helicopter assets,” Osias said.

He said the soldiers fought some 50 New People’s Army rebels around the makeshift camp believed to be the headquarters of the NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.

Osias made no mention of any casualties among the rebels except that the soldiers seized four AK-47 rifles, four M14 rifles, three M16 rifles, an Ultimax submachine gun and several landmines.

The reported encounter in Esperanza came a few days after the NPA attacked three mining firms in Claver, Surigao del Norte and destroyed several heavy equipment.

In a statement issued after the attack, the rebel group said they attacked the companies for allegedly damaging the environment and exploiting their workers and surrounding Lumad communities.

The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been waging a Maoist insurgency since 1969. Its political umbrella, the National Democratic Front, is engaged in peace talks with the Aquino administration. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)