Soldiers wounded in leftist rebel in S. Philippines

Updated: 2013-09-12 11:23


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DAVAO CITY, Philippines - Clashes continued between government troops and leftist rebels in southern Philippines on Wednesday, wounding five soldiers, police said on Thursday.

Troops from the army's 36th Infantry Battalion on a pursuit operation were ambushed by New People's Army guerillas in San Miguel town, in Mindanao's Surigao del Sur province at 9:30 a.m., according to Martin Gamba, Caraga regional police spokesperson.

Four soldiers were wounded as a landmine believed planted by the rebels went off and another trooper was hurt after being fired at by the insurgents after the blast, Gamba said.

"The troops were going after a band of NPA rebels who had figured in a clash with soldiers a day earlier when they were hit by a landmine and exchanged fire with the guerrillas," said Gamba, referring to a firefight last Tuesday also in San Miguel town that left two government troopers wounded.

Elsewhere in Mindanao, government troops also battled with the NPA on Tuesday, leaving one soldier dead and three others, including those in San Miguel, wounded.

The 4,000-strong NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is fighting a leftist insurgency in 60 Philippine provinces since 1969.