|New People’s Army (NPA)|
By Francis Elevado and Celso Amo
MANILA, Philippines - Two soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded in a 30-minute firefight between communist guerrillas and government troops in Gubat, Sorsogon early yesterday morning, according to a ranking military official.
Lt. Col. Randy Espino, 31st Infantry Battalion commander, said elements from his battalion, particularly one section of the Alpha Company of the Philippine Army led by 2Lt. Lee Tremedal, were conducting combat patrol when they encountered an undetermined number of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels at around 5:30 a.m. in the town’s Barangay Casili.
“The rebels used an improvised explosive killing two of our troops while seven were also wounded,” Espino confirmed, adding that the firefight lasted for about 30 minutes after which the enemy withdrew in different directions.
“We were conducting a combat operation against NPA rebels who were planning to launch a tactical offensive against government troops and soft targets in Sorsogon,” he explained.
Espino said the identities of the slain soldiers were withheld pending notification of their families.
“The loss of our two heroes is an inspiration for the troops to continue their mandate of serving the people and securing the province of Sorsogon against communist terrorists,” he added.
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