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2 suspected NPA guerrillas killed in Cotabato clash —military

KIDAPAWAN CITY —Two suspected members of the New People’s Army were killed in an encounter in a far-flung village of Makilala town in Cotabato on Saturday morning, a military official said.

Colonel Harold Argamosa,  Commander of the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion, said that two cadavers, believed to be of members of the front 51 of the NPA, were found abandoned in Purok 6 of Barangay Batasan while troops were pursuing the rebels.

Argamosa however cannot give the identities of the slain suspected rebels as government troops are still gathering information from nearby sitios  or from relatives who may claim the bodies.

Makilala town Mayor Rudy Caoagdan confirmed the discovery of the cadavers, Argamosa said, adding that no one was hurt on side of the government forces.

Pursuing troopers from the 39th IB also recovered high-powered firearms from the scene of the  clash,  particularly in Purok 5 of Barangay Batasan at around 5 a.m.

Argamosa said that at least 20 suspected NPA guerrillas clashed with soldiers responding to reports of the presence of the armed men in the area.

Sporadic bursts of gunfire were still heard in Barangay Batasan as military forces continued their pursuit of the armed men at they were withdrawing into the mountainous boundaries of Cotabato and Davao del Sur. —LBG, GMA News