[see related story]

One soldier was killed when suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members attacked their outpost in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur, Sunday afternoon, a military spokesman said.

Maj. Eugenio Osias, Army 4th Infantry Division spokesman, identified the fatality as Cpl. Rio Ecobiza, member of a “peace and development” platoon of the 26th Infantry Battalion.

An undetermined number of rebels, believed to be members of the NPA’s Guerilla Front 21, “harassed” the platoon’s temporary base in Brgy. New Tubigon around 3:30 p.m., triggering a 10-minute firefight with the troops, Osias said in a text message.

The rebels were seen withdrawing towards the east after the clash. Ecobiza, a native of Bukidnon, succumbed to a bullet wound on the right side of his chest, according to the regional military spokesman.

The attack came as other government troops are busy running after rebels in the adjacent province of Agusan del Norte, and Surigao del Norte. [see related story] (John Roson)

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