Four suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members got killed while three civilians, including a young boy, were injured as government troops clashed with the rebel group in Baggao, Cagayan, early Thursday.

Army chief Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz said members of a reconnaissance platoon encountered about 10 rebels in in Sitio Bariwanay, Brgy. San Miguel, around 5:30 a.m.

The troops recovered the bodies of four slain rebels, two M16 rifles, and a shotgun after the clash, Ortiz said in a text message.

No casualties were reported among the soldiers, who are now pursuing the other rebels with additional troops and K9 units, he said.

Meanwhile, Capt. Jovily Cabading, spokesperson of the Armed Forces’ Northern Luzon Command, said three civilians, including a young boy, were injured in the crossfire between the rebels and troops of the 17th Infantry Battalion.

Cabading identified the three as Zaldy Durado, 25, Arnold Pasion, 30, and Arnolito Durado, 4, whose finger is slightly wounded.

The soldiers eventually had to stop firing as the rebels sought refuge at a civilian’s house, she said.

Senior Supt. Mao Aplasca, Cagayan provincial police director, said he has sent men near the encounter site to block the rebels’ withdrawal routes. (John Roson)

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