One soldier and two suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members were killed when government troops clashed with the rebel group in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental, early Saturday, the military said.

Killed were Pfc. Edmund Prieto, of the Army’s 11th Infantry Battalion, and Argie Villasan and Elmer Cañete, both alleged members of the NPA Special Partisan Unit (Sparu), Army 3rd Infantry Division spokesman Maj. Enrico Ileto said.

The clash occurred around 7:30 a.m. in Sitio, Natae, Brgy. Bucalan.

Prieto and his team encountered an undetermined number of rebels and fireifght lasted for five minutes, Ileto said.

Troops also captured Ronnel Josalita, another suspected NPA member whose house was near the encounter site.

Recovered from the scene were two caliber-.45 pistola, four magazines with 23 rounds of ammunition, a grenade, and various documents with “high intelligence value,” Ileto said. (John Roson)

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