One soldier was killed and a low-rank insurgent leader was captured in a firefight between Philippine army troops and leftist rebels in southern Philippines on Monday, local police said on Tuesday.
The incident happened as soldiers from the Philippine Army's 4th Infantry Division were conducting patrol at Poblacion village, Santiago town, in Mindanao's Agusan del Norte province at around 7: 15 a.m. Monday, according to Superintendent Martin Gamba, spokesman for the Caraga regional police office.
One soldier, identified as Private First Class Rey Pastrana, was killed after being shot in the head, as troops clashed some ten New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas, said Gamba, adding that pursuing troops caught up with and captured Jerry Banaw alias Manuel, a suspected NPA platoon leader.
Gamba said pursuit operations are continuing against the other insurgents while the arrested rebel is now under the custody of the local police for filing of charges.
The 4,000-strong NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is fighting a leftist insurgency in 60 Philippine provinces since 1969.