NPA rebels fire at policemen in tree planting activity, kill 1

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CAMP GEN. SIMEON OLA, Legazpi City, 21Sept2013 (PNA) РNew People’s Army (NPA) rebels fired at police officers conducting tree planting activity, killing one of them and wounding another in Barangay Buyo, Claveria, Masbate, at about 7:30 a.m., Friday.

Insp. Malu Calubaquib, Bicol police regional spokesperson, identified the slain police officer as PO1 Randolf Alegre who was hit on the head, and the wounded as PO1 McDonald Casi who sustained a gunshot wound.

Casi was brought to the Claveria District Hospital.

Both Alegre and Casi are members of Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB).

Calubaquib said members of the Claveria Municipal Police Office and the 5th RPSB were having a tree seedling-planting activity Friday morning when the rebels fired at them and hit Alegre, who died on the spot.

She said the tree-planting participants rushed toward safety to avoid getting hit by stray bullets from either armed group.

The activity was being led by local government officials of Claveria and Department of Environment and Natural Resources personnel and joined by police officers and community members.

Other police officers immediately responded, resulting in a brief firefight.

The rebels fled from the scene where police recovered one Garrand rifle, one cal. 9mm pistol, 1 cal. 38 pistol, empty shells of M-16 Armalite rifle and M-14 rifle and anti-government documents, which the rebels left behind in their hurried retreat.

Police and military men are now in hot pursuit of the fleeing rebels. (PNA)

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