DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Xinhua) - Two people were killed as government troops clashed with leftist rebels in the southern part of the country over the weekend, the military said today.
A soldier and a suspected New People's Army (NPA) insurgent died after a 25-minute encounter at Alipao village, Alegria, in Surigao del Norte province around 12:20 p.m. Saturday, Alberto Caber, spokesperson of the military's Eastern Mindanao Command, said.
Caber told Xinhua in a text message that Philippine army soldiers were conducting security patrol when they chanced upon an undetermined number of NPA guerrillas led by alias Oto of Front 16, sparking a fierce firefight.
"Recovered from the slain NPA were two unexploded improvised explosive devices (IEDs)," said Caber, adding security operations in the area was continuing.
Lieutenant General Ricardo Rainier Cruz III, East Mindanao Command commander, reminded military field commanders to be vigilant in their joint operations with Philippine National Police, as the leftist NPA has intensified its atrocities against troops and civilians in the region.