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  • 2 Killed as Soldiers, Leftist Rebels Clash in S. Philippines

    Published on August 30, 2010

    Leftist rebels and government troops clashed anew in southern Philippines on Sunday, leaving two people dead and several others wounded, the military said.

    Among those killed in a series of clashes in Marihatag town in Mindanao region’s Surigao del Sur province were a female New People’s Army (NPA) fighter and a government soldier, said Lieutenant Colonel Triumph Dominic Bagaipo, spokesperson of the army’s 4th Infantry Division.

    The clashes erupted when patrolling soldiers from the army’s 36th Infantry Battalion chanced upon a group of rebels said to be in foraging mission in a village in Marihatag at 1 p.m. sparking a 30-minute gun fight that left a soldier wounded, Bagaipo said, adding two running gun battles followed in the same village that left a soldier dead and two others wounded.

    Army rangers serving as a blocking force ambushed the fleeing insurgents, killing a woman guerrilla and wounding another rebel who was able to escape during the confusion, Bagaipo told Xinhua, adding an M-16 rifle was recovered from the slain rebel amazon.

    Sunday’s clashes occurred just days after rebels killed five soldiers manning an isolated army outpost in a rebel-infested village in the region.

    The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been waging a guerrilla campaign in the countryside for four decades. Military estimates the NPA strength at more than 4,000 fighters scattered in more than 60 provinces throughout the country.

    Peace talks between the government and the leftists bogged down after the United States included the NPA and its parent body as foreign terrorist organizations in 2002.