Manila's fight against Muslim militants

MANILA, Philippines, May 31 (UPI) -- Filipino army rangers have overrun a militant New People's Army site.

At least 200 NPA militants manned the camp and more than three hours of heavy fighting ensured, The Philippine Star reported Tuesday.


Three soldiers and an undetermined number of Muslim guerrillas were wounded in the encounter, which occurred at the heavily forested site of Sitio Carampel, Barangay Iliwagwag, Cateel town.

Government forces were successful in driving out the guerillas and government security forces were pursuing the rebels, army chief Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz said.

Describing the encounter, Lt. Col. Gilbert Saret said: "Crawling stealthily up to about 30 meters behind the enemy bunkers, our soldiers initiated the firefight. We need to continuously conduct combat operations in order to flush the lawless elements including the NPA rebels out of the communities to bring in peace and security. Once this is achieved, we can maximize our efforts to support the development initiatives of the various stakeholders, especially the local government units."

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