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2 Army Battalions Deployed Against NPA in Samar Attack

TWO Army battalions and one reconnaisance company were dispatched Friday to pursue the New People’s Army rebels who attacked an Army detachment in Oras town, Eastern Samar province, an Army spokesman told INQ7.net. Army chief Lieutenant General Gregorio Camiling ordered the hot pursuit operations less than a day after the NPA attacked the Army detachment, killing 11 militiamen, five soldiers, and one civilian.Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Joselito Kakilala said an estimated 200 NPA rebels took part in the dawn attack on Thursday. Earlier on Friday, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered police and military troops to combine their intelligence resources against the New People’s Army, vowing that rebels responsible for the recent attacks would be dealt with “swiftly and forcibly.” Ms Macapagal also commended the 16 militiamen and soldiers who died defending their detachment. “I am directing the military and police to combine their intelligence resources so that we can obviate the element of surprise that is being used to our disadvantage,” the President said. “We have the duty to protect our own far-flung military and police outposts with forward intelligence coverage,” she added. The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been fighting to establish a Marxist state since 1969. It has an estimated membership of 13,000. Full Story

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