DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 21, 2009) – Ten communist insurgents were killed in fierce fighting Thursday in the Mindanao province of Agusan del Sur, army officials said.
Officials said the fighting erupted after soldiers caught up with New People’s Army rebels extorting money from civilians in the village of Cabantao in Rosario town.
“Ten rebels were killed in the fighting and the operation against the NPA is gong on,” Lt. Rudy Esico, of the Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion, told the Mindanao Examiner by phone from a command post in the province.
He said villagers tipped off the military about the presence of rebels in the area.
Esico said soldiers also recovered weapons and improvised explosives left behind by retreating rebels. He said two attack helicopters were pursuing the NPA forces in the hinterlands. There were no reports of military casualties.
“The rebels were also behind the raid on a mining area last month in the town,” he said.
Last week, government soldiers also killed two NPA rebels in a firefight in the southern Philippine city of Digos.
The military vowed to step up offensive against the rebels who are fighting the past decades to put up a Maoist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)