By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – Two members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) Active Auxiliary (CAA) and an Army soldier were killed, while an undetermined number of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were believed to have also died or wounded in a fierce Friday dawn encounter at the Kaunlaran area in Remedios Trinidad Romualdez (RTR) town, Agusan del Norte.
In a report reaching the command centers of the military and police yesterday, a squad of Cafgus and soldiers from the 29th Infantry Battalion (29th IB) were conducting patrols when the rebels detonated an anti-personnel mine at 3 a.m., triggering an ambush and a gunbattle.
The Cafgus were based in Barangay San Antonio in RTR.
The government forces engaged members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA Northeastern Regional Committee (NEMRC), an initial flash report said.
Meanwhile, more troops of the 29th IB from Del Pilar, Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte province were dispatched to beef up the pursuing Cafgus and soldiers in Kaunlaran area.
The mobile force of the Agusan del Norte Police Provincial Office and Cabadbaran City Police Station were also deployed to conduct blocking positions along the possible escape route of the fleeing rebels.
As of press time, wide pursuit operation was still ongoing to seek out the fleeing NPAs within the Mount Ilong-Ilong and Diwata ranges in RTR, Agusan del Norte province.
The command center of 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade based at Camp Bancasi here also alerted pilots of the Tactical Operations Group (TOG) of the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF) Strike Wing for possible air support for the pursuing troops.