Government troops engaged in a firefight with several suspected members of the New People’s Army in Sultan Kudarat on Saturday morning.
According to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, members of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-2 encountered an unspecified number of rebels in the mountains of Sitio Lomoton, Barangay Hinalaan, Kalamansig town about 9 a.m.
The gun battle lasted 20 minutes. The rebels were forced to retreat, bringing with them their dead comrades. No one was hurt on the military side.
Soldiers recovered M16 rifles and 4 sets of improvised explosive devices.
Marines are already conducting pursuit operations against the communist rebels.
“We are making sure that the fighting will not spill over to nearby areas,” said Major General Arnel Delavega, commander of the Joint Task Force Central.
“We believe these (communist terrorists) are just in the immediate vicinity hiding from our troops. That is why we are urging the people of Kalamansig to report suspicious-looking people they happen to meet in their communities or farms.”
Two months ago, an armed confrontation between marines and rebels also ensued in the same area. Two suspected rebels were killed in that firefight.