(Updated 7:00 p.m.) Two government soldiers and two suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members were killed in a clash in Isabela, Negros Occidental, on Thursday, the military said.

Four soldiers and a still undetermined number of rebels have been injured, Capt. Anacito Naz, spokesman of the Army’s 302nd Brigade, said by phone.

The fighting started around 8 a.m., when patrolling members of the 11th Infantry Battalion’s Alpha company encountered rebels in Sitio Mapaho-paho, Brgy. San Agustin, Naz said.

Capt. Ariel Quirog, spokesman of the 11th IB, said sporadic firefight against the rebels, who were found to have camps in the area, went on until 12 noon.

Hindi lang isa o dalawang beses nabangga ng tropa ‘yung kalaban,” Quirog said, adding that about 40 rebels figured in the clash.

Troops later seized a rebel camp, where a caliber-.45 pistol, two magazines, eight backpacks, and several “subversive documents” were found, he said.

The wounded soldiers, who include an officer ranked 2nd lieutenant, have been airlifted to a hospital on a UH-1H helicopter, Quirog said.

Additional troops were sent to the area to run after the rebels and were still scouring nearby areas Thursday evening. (John Roson)

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