Soldier killed as military overrun NPA hideout in Quezon

GOVERNMENT troops attacked a suspected communist rebel lair in Mauban town, Quezon province, some 160 kilometers southeast of Manila, leaving a soldier killed in an ensuing firefight, a military spokesman said Friday.


At around 10 a.m. Thursday, Army forces swooped down on a suspected New People's Army (NPA) safehouse in sitio (sub-village) Cagsiay 3, Mauban village and engaged some 100 guerillas in a six-hour gunbattle, Colonel Tristan Kison said.
Kison identified the slain Army soldier as Corporal Edgar Astarez.
There were no immediate reports of casualties on the rebel side.
After the rebels retreated, government forces seized a Honda motorcycle, an improvised landmine, 20 pieces of live ammunition for a 50-caliber machine gun, 12 cavans of rice, assorted foodstuff, and a medical kit from the rebel lair, Kison said.
Troops also recovered a guitar and two audiotapes entitled "Alab ng Digmaang Bayan" and "Martsa kan Bikolandia" all marked with the name of Doctor Alexandra de Guzman, an alleged NPA contact, Kison said.
The 8,000-strong NPA marked the 37th anniversary of its guerrilla campaign last Wednesday with orders from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to step up attacks against government installations using landmines.
The rebels pulled out of Norwegian-brokered peace talks in August 2004 to protest their inclusion in the United States and European Union's lists of terrorist organizations.

Von: Mar 31, 2006, By Joel Francis Guinto,

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