CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 27 Sept) – Three government soldiers were killed in fierce fighting Thursday with communist insurgents in the southern Philippines, a rebel spokesman said.
Nestor dela Cruz said the fighting erupted in Loreto town in Agusan del Sur province after New People’s Army rebels attacked an army unit. “Two other government soldiers were wounded in the fighting,” Dela Cruz said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.
He said there were no NPA casualties.
The Army’s 4th Infantry Division did not give any statement about the fighting and officials ignored telephone calls from journalists.
Other reports said five rebels were allegedly killed in the clash, but this could not be independently confirmed.
Rebel forces on Sunday also raided a police base in Surigao del Sur’s Cantillan town and took away assorted weapons after disarming policemen.
NPA rebels also stormed last week a veneer factory in Compostela Valley province and killed one militiaman. The rebels, from the NPA's Armando Dumandan Command, carted four automatic rifles and a handgun from militias guarding the Li Chiang Veneer Plant in Montevista town.
The NPA branded the firm as “despotic” and accused it of actively supporting the military operations against innocent farmers in the town, said Marcella Valiente, of the Armando Dumandan Command.
The NPA is the armed wing of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines, which has been fighting for decades to establish a Maoist state in the country.
The Philippine government opened peace talks with the rebels, but the negotiations collapsed in 2004 after the United States listed the CPP and the NPA and its political arm, the National Democratic Front, as foreign terrorist organization on Manila’s prodding. (Mindanao Examiner)