A suspected New People’s Army (NPA) member was killed as government troops clashed with the rebel group in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, on Tuesday, only a week after super typhoon “Pablo” devastated the province.

Lt. Col. Eugenio Osias, spokesman of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said the clash occurred around 9:40 a.m. in Brgy. Lobo.

Members of the 401st Brigade were conducting security patrols when they encountered an undetermined number of rebels, he said.

The rebels withdrew after a five-minute firefight, leaving a still unidentified comrade and an AK-47 rifle behind, Osias said.

The clash occurred only a week after “Pablo” slammed into Surigao del Sur on December 4.

“Pablo” killed at least five people, displaced 5,000 residents, and destroyed more than 20,000 houses in the province, which is now under a state of calamity, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Many parts of the province are still experiencing a power outage, the NDRRMC said. (John Roson)

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