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Army, rebels clash in Cotabato town

KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Government troops under the Army's 602nd Brigade encountered some 50 fully armed communist rebels in the hinterlands of Tulunan, North Cotabato, over the weekend, reports from the military said.
The exchange of fires between elements of the 68th Infantry Battalion and the rebels under the 72nd Front Committee of the New People’s Army (NPA) started around 2:45 p.m. Saturday in Barangay Batang in Tulunan.
The firefight lasted for less than an hour, according to 1 Lieutenant Kenny Ramona, commanding officer of the Bravo Company of the 68th Infantry Battalion (IB).
None among the soldiers was hurt, but the rebels, according to Ramona, suffered undetermined number of casualties as evidenced by bloodstains in the site.
No reported displacement of villagers in the area since the encounter site is far from the populated areas, Ramona said.
He hinted the rebels they encountered over the weekend were under same group that led the attacks in nearby Makilala town and in Kidapawan City.
On Monday, elements of the 40th IB and the 57th IB of the 602nd Brigade engaged in an intense armed fighting with the rebels in the hinterlands of Makilala town.
The Army suffered two fatalities and another soldier injured, according to reports from the 57th IB.
The military has no data as to the casualty on the rebel side.
On Wednesday, the NPAs shot dead in a busy commercial district in Kidapawan City a Swiss-Filipino national who has long worked with the military in North Cotabato in its peace-building activities.
Malu Cadeliña Manar | SunStar.Com.Ph | Monday, March 12, 2012 | Article Link

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