Six gov't troops wounded in clash in S Philippines

Updated: 2014-07-09 11:19


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DAVAO CITY -- At least six government troops were wounded in a clash with leftist rebels in southern Philippines on Tuesday, the military said on Wednesday.

Pursuit operations have continued against New People's Army ( NPA) guerrillas following the encounter in the mountainous portion of two villages in Davao City around 1:40 p.m. local time, according to Captain Albert Caber, spokesperson of the military's Eastern Mindanao Command.

Caber told Xinhua by phone that soldiers from the army's 84th Infantry Battalion backed by the police's Special Action Force were conducting security patrols in the villages of Catigan and Baracatan in Toril district when they ran into some 30 NPA gunmen, sparking a 30-minute gun battle.

Five police commandos and a soldier were wounded while the rebels suffered an undetermined number of casualties, said Caber, as the remaining insurgents fled to unknown direction.

As a result, regional military officials have ordered an intensified operation against the rebels.

The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been waging war against the Philippine government since 1969.

Military estimates placed the NPA's strength at about 5,000 men scattered in more than 60 guerrilla fronts throughout the country.

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