World Bulletin / News Desk
At least seven soldiers and two policemen have been killed during an attack by New People's Army (NPA) communist rebels on a municipal police station in the southern Philippines.
Some 100 New People Army (NPA) rebels wearing camouflage uniforms raided a police station in Davao del Sur province’s Matanao Township on Monday, Capt. Alberto Caber, a spokesman for the Armed Forces of Eastern Mindanao Command, told media.
“They sprayed the police station with bullets,” he said.
The rebels fled after a 30-minute exchange of fire, seizing several weapons and ammunition. Two policemen died on the spot and three others were wounded.
The army was able to retrieve the remains of two rebels slain in the attack, Caber added.
Four hours later, at least seven soldiers were killed and eight others wounded when an army vehicle in pursuit of the NPA hit a landmine.
Some nine rebels were later apprehended at a checkpoint and two others were killed, police spokesman Major Jed Clamor told the Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
Fearing other attacks, many residents of Matanao have been evacuated.
Formed in 1969, the NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. It is active in several provinces of the country.
Peace talks between Communist rebels and the government have stalled for 27 years, reaching an impasse in 2011 when formal talks failed to resume.
The NPA has enjoyed some informal links with Islamist secessionist rebels from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), but are not fighting together.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), another militant Muslim group, is in the process of signing a peace deal with the Philippines government to create greater autonomy for Muslims in the country’s south.Last Mod: 11 Mart 2014, 10:14