Thursday, April 22, 2021

2 NPA rebels killed, female fighter captured in Zambo clash

PAGADIAN CITY – Security forces killed 2 communist rebels and captured a woman fighter following a gun battle on Thursday in Zamboanga del Sur province in southern Philippines, officials said.

Military photos released to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner show the rebel weapons recovered by troops following a gun fight that killed 2 New People's Army rebels and the capture of a female fighter in Zamboanga del Sur's Tigbao town on April 22, 2021.

Army Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., chief of the Western Mindanao Command, said the fighting broke out in the village of Guinlin in Tigbao town after soldiers and policemen tracked down the hideout of the rebels and tried to arrest them. 

Vinluan said those killed were members of the Main Regional Guerilla Unit of the New People’s Army. “While approaching the target’s location, the terrorists opened fire which forced the operating troops to retaliate,” he said.  

He identified the slain gunmen as Felimon Suazo and James Cordero, and the captured rebel, Elvie Doctor.

Suazo, according to a military dossier, was an executive committee member of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee and also its political instructor and finance officer. He was one of those senior rebels from Davao who were sent to Zamboanga Peninsula in 2009 to reinforce the dwindling number of fighters in the region.

While the woman, the military said, is also a senior rebel member of the same regional party committee, where she is a known propaganda expert.

There was no report of military or police casualties, but Vinluan said troops were pursuing a small group of rebels who managed to escape during the fighting. He said soldiers also recovered the bodies of the slain rebels and their weapons – an M16 automatic rifle with grenade launcher, two automatic pistols and four 40mm rifle grenades, including dozens of ammunition.

The rebel group is fighting for many decades now to overthrow the democratic government and put up a communist state. Peace talks with the Duterte administration and past governments had failed after communist negotiators demanded the release of jailed rebels and power-sharing in running the affairs of the state. (Mindanao Examiner)

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