Three killed in Philippine clash

Philippines, July 27 (IANS) A soldier and two members of the leftist New People’s Army were killed and six others injured in a firefight in a Philippine province, the military said.

The clash started when troops of the army’s 71st Infantry Battalion came upon about 50 leftist rebels while patrolling in Compostela Valley province on Sunday, said Alberto Caber, public affairs officer of the Eastern Mindanao Command.

The soldiers and the rebels exchanged gun fires for at least 30 minutes before the insurgents withdrew, Xinhua reported.

Two of the rebels were killed and six others were injured. The two killed NPA bandits were brought away by their companions while they escaped.

Meanwhile, at least 30 rebels burned a security outpost of the Apex Mining in Compostela Valley, said 10th Infantry Division public affairs officer 1Lt. Alexadre Cabales.

The troops are still on pursuit operations in the area, he said.

The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, was formed in 1969. Latest military estimates placed the NPA’s strength at more than 4,000.

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