Nine sol­diers in­jured in clash with left­ist rebels

Fiji Sun - - Asia News - Manila: Feed­back: Xin­hua jy­[email protected]­

Nine sol­diers were in­jured on Sat­ur­day in fresh fight­ing be­tween the gov­ern­ment troops and the left­ist rebels in Sa­mar prov­ince in cen­tral Philip­pines. Cap­tain Fran­cis Agno, a spokesman for a Philip­pine army in­fantry divi­sion in Sa­mar prov­ince, said that an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice went off while fire­fight was un­der­way in a vil­lage of San Jorge town in Sa­mar prov­ince around 6:50am on Sat­ur­day.

Cap­tain Agno said the troops were on pa­trol when a brief fire­fight en­sued. The nine sol­diers suf­fered mi­nor in­juries in the blast, he added. Ac­cord­ing to the spokesper­son, the New Peo­ple’s Army (NPA) rebels may also have suf­fered ca­su­al­ties, adding that blood­stains were seen in their es­cape route.

The Philip­pine mil­i­tary said the NPA has an es­ti­mated 4000 mem­bers.

The rebels have been fight­ing the gov­ern­ment since 1969 in one of Asia’s long­est-run­ning in­sur­gen­cies. The Philip­pines gov­ern­ment has been try­ing to forge peace with the left­ist rebels since 1986, but the on-off talks have fal­tered many times in the past. Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s gov­ern­ment has scrapped talks to solve the 50-year-old in­sur­gency and de­clared a “full-scale war” against the rebel group which has been try­ing to over­throw the gov­ern­ment for five decades.

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