Marines, NPA in another skirmish in Bataraza

Government and NPA members clashed anew in Bataraza on Sunday morning, the second firefight within the week since government troops began tracking down a group of insurgents that launched a roadside bomb attack on a passing military vehicle in the beginning of the week.

Blockading military forces in southern Palawan engaged the militants in a 25-minute firefight who authorities said have been trying to escape from their operations in Bataraza.

Captain Cherryl Tindog, spokesperson of the Western Command (WESCOM), said the new confrontation happened more or less two kilometers off Sitio Kambingan, Barangay Malihud, Bataraza.

At about 7:20 a.m. this morning, a fresh encounter occurred between government troops and the armed militants in the mountainous areas of Malihud,” she said.

Tindog said the area where the firefight, that lasted less than half an hour, is part of the territory where government forces seized on July 21 a training camp of the rebel group.

Team WESCOM believes the CPP-NPA-NDF communist rebels are attempting to flee the Malihud vicinity, but are being held back by the military’s focused campaign with help from local residents who are providing pieces of information on their whereabouts,” she said.

No government soldier was injured during the fresh encounter, according to Tindog.

On July 18, a bomb exploded by the rebels on a passing M35 truck injured a marine soldier. It was followed on July 19 by an attack of the NPA that killed two Marines in Roxas, northern Palawan.

WESCOM said the NPA attacks were a retaliation after government troops took over their training camp in Barangay Samariñana, Brooke’s Point last month

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