Gov't troops capture major CCP-NPA camp in Agusan del Norte
Buenavista, Agusan del Norte (12 February) -- Government troops captured Friday morning a major communist-New People's Army (NPA) camp after a fierce gunbattle in Kiholao area, Barangay Guinabsan, Buenavista town, this province.
Col. Emeliano Gupana, commanding officer of the Army's 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade, said that combat maneuvering troops of the 30th Infantry Battallion and 6th Scout Ranger Company have already recovered from the camp several high powered firearms, claymore mines, assorted live ammunitions, RPG's, generator power set, handheld kenwood radios, personal belongings, foods, assorted medicines and several anti-government documents, some of which contain high intelligence value.
Before capturing the camp, attacking combat troops engaged the rebels in a heavy gunbattle for more than two hours that started at 5:30 a.m. Friday.
"For more than two hours, our troops engaged them (NPA's) and later abandoned their camp after sensing that they (rebels) were already outgunned and outnumbered," claimed regional Army spokesman Maj. Mitchele B. Anayron, Jr.
"The rebels abandoned their well entrenched camp and scampered to different directions bringing along with them their unaccounted number of critically wounded comrades and leaving behind their one unidentified dead companion," said Anayron.
One Army soldier was wounded in action during the heavy firefight. He was immediately taken to the nearest hospital in Buenavista for medical treatment.
At least 100 communist-NPA's are now running towards the provincial boundary of Agusan del Norte and Bukidnon, he said.
The captured NPA camp has 100 fortified bunkers, makeshift huts containing kitchen and mini-conference table, training ground and listening posts and mini-communal farm, he said.
The captured rebel headquarters belong to CPP-NPA North-Central Mindanao Regional Committee, Anayron said.
Maj. Gen. Mario F. Chan, commanding general of the Army's Northeastern and Northern Mindanao Fourth Infantry (Diamond) Division deployed more combat troops to beef up the pursuing soldiers of 30th IB and 6th SR Company in Kiholao area.
Gunship attack helicopter pilots of the Philippine Air Force's (PAF) strike wing were already on standby alert for possible air cover to the pursuing ground troops.
Wide pursuit operation is still going on. (PNA) [top]