5 killed as leftist rebels storm Davao militia outpost

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Xinhua) – Five people have been killed in a foiled attack by leftist rebels against a military outpost in the southern Philippines, a military official said today.

Four New People’s Army (NPA) insurgents and a pro-government militiaman were killed following the assault in the village of Bacungan Davao del Sur province at around 1:45 p.m. local time Wednesday, said Major Jacob Obligado, 10th civil-military operations battalion commander.

About 30 heavily-armed NPA gunmen onboard a hijacked cargo truck swooped down on and attempted to overwhelm the Talusob Cafgu detachment, but were repelled by soldiers and militiamen defending the outpost.

“An intense firefight lasting for more than an hour ensued which resulted in the death of four (rebels) and one militiaman,” Obligado said.

The military official accused the leftist insurgents of taking hostage five residents whom they allegedly had been forced to carry their casualties as they withdrew.

Troops recovered at the encounter site two rifles, a fragmentation grenade, several pieces of ammunition, backpacks and other personal belongings left behind by the fleeing rebels.

Obligado said pursuit operations were continuing against the fleeing NPA attackers.

The latest clash came just a day after an ambush by leftist rebels in the northern Philippine province of Ifugao that left a dozen people dead.

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