Armed NPA reb killed in Bicol encounter

FIGHTING erupted between patrolling Bicol policemen and a group of heavily-armed New People’s Army guerrillas in a remote part of Iriga City early morning Thursday leaving one of the rebels dead, Police Regional Office 5 director, Brigadier General Anthony S. Alcañeses said.

The slain suspect who remained unidentified as of press time yielded an M-16 automatic rifle with a bandolier of loaded magazines, the official said.

According to Alcañeses, members of the Iriga City Police Station were on patrol in Barangay Sta. Cruz around 5 a.m. when they encountered the group of rebels.

A heavy exchange of fire ensured between the two groups until the gunmen fled after one of their fellows was hit. No casualty was reported on the side of the policemen, the Bicol police director said.

Follow-up operations are still underway to identify and arrest the rest of the rebels. Alcañeses said police are also checking hospitals and clinics in the city and other nearby municipalities for the presence of gunshot victims.