Communist guerrillas kill soldier in Philippines

Communist guerrillas attacked an army outpost in a remote southern town Tuesday, sparking a gunbattle that killed a soldier, a pro-government militiaman and wounded an undetermined number of rebels, the Philippine military said.

Five other militiamen were wounded during the New People's Army dawn attack on the rural outpost of the army's 5th Infantry battalion in Sapang Dalaga town in southern Misamis Occidental province, according to military spokesman Col. Tristan Kison.

The rebels seized several rifles before withdrawing with their wounded. Authorities were checking hospitals where the rebels may have taken comrades, according to radio station DZBB.

The Maoist rebels have escalated attacks nationwide against the military and police in recent months, often seizing badly needed weapons.

The guerrillas, who have been waging a Marxist rebellion for 37 years, suspended Norwegian-brokered peace talks with the Philippine government two years ago, mainly to protest Manila's refusal to ask the United States and the European Union to remove them from terrorist blacklists, reports the AP.


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