Five suspected members of communist rebel group New People’s Army were killed in an encounter with government troops in the hinterlands of Tagoloan II, Lanao del Sur Tuesday morning.
Maj. Gen. Andres Centino, commander of the Philippine Army's 4th Infantry Division, said troops from the 1st Special Forces Battalion were conducting operations in the area when they encountered more or less 30 armed rebels, resulting in two simultaneous firefights.
“This encounter happened after our sources are informed about the presence of the armed group kaya pinuntahan at nagkaroon ng engkwentro (so they went there and then there was an encounter),” said Centino.
The short exchanges of fire led to five casualties, one of whom was female. The bodies of the slain rebels were turned over to the police provincial office for identification.
Six high-powered firearms were also recovered at the encounter site.
Hot pursuit operations by the military are ongoing in the hinterland boundaries of Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur.