MANILA (AFP) – Eight communist guerrillas and four soldiers have been killed in separate clashes in the southern Philippines, a hotbed of one of the world’s last Maoist rebellions, the military said Tuesday.
One female and six male members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed in skirmishes Monday near Alabel on the south coast of Mindanao island, a military statement said.
The 4,000-member NPA is waging one of the world’s longest-running insurgencies, with about half its guerrillas based in the south, according to military estimates.
Government forces meanwhile repulsed an attack by a separate NPA unit on a police post in the southern town of Mati, 140 kilometres (87 miles) northeast of Alabel, on Sunday, a separate military statement said.
The 50 guerrillas, who wore fake army uniforms, failed to capture the police post and suffered one dead after it was reinforced by a local army unit, it said. However, a landmine set off by the retreating rebels killed three of the pursuing soldiers and wounded four others, it added. It said the rebels also killed an off-duty soldier who was passing through a roadblock.