MANILA, Philippines – Army troops and communist rebels clashed in two rural areas in the Philippines in the latest flare-out of the 43-year insurgency, leaving four soldiers and two guerrillas dead, officials said Monday. Nine soldiers, a civilian and an unspecified number of New People’s Army rebels were wounded in Sunday’s clashes in central Samar province and in mountainous Compostela Valley province in the south, the military said.
Troops guarding a civic project stumbled on a group of rebels near Samar’s Gandara township, touching off a firefight that killed four soldiers and wounded two others. The Maoist guerrillas withdrew with an unknown number of wounded rebels and were being hunted by reinforcement troops, according to army Capt. Gene Orense. Army troops separately killed two guerrillas when they repulsed an attack by a 60-strong rebel band in Compostela Valley. The fierce clash wounded seven soldiers and a villager, army battalion commander Lt. Col. Jerry Borja said.