5 leftist rebels killed in clash in S. Philippines

DAVAO CITY, Philippines, June 18 (Xinhua) — Five leftist rebels were killed in a clash with an elite police detachment in southern Philippines on Friday noon, police and the military said.

Three policemen were also wounded during the assault at an outpost of the Regional Public Safety Management Battalion in Cateel town of southern Mindanao region’s Davao Oriental province, regional military spokesperson Randolph Cabangbang told Xinhua by cellphone.

Thirty New People’s Army gunmen onboard a logging truck stormed the outpost at 12:45 p.m., triggering a 20-minute firefight that resulted in casualties from both sides, said a report from the Cateel town police sent to Xinhua in a text message.

“Five rebels were reportedly killed although only one body was recovered by police,” Cabangbang said, adding the wounded cops were already undergoing treatment at a local hospital.

The rebels then withdrew toward the nearby village of Cabasagan, leaving behind their vehicle as reinforcements from police and the army came, police said.

The 5,000-strong NPA and its parent organization, the Communist Party of the Philippines, have been fighting for a leftist insurgency in most of the Philippines since 1969.

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