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People's Daily Online

5 suspected leftist rebels, marine soldier killed in Philippine clash

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 16:16, September 03, 2020

MANILA, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Five suspected leftist rebels and a government soldier were killed in fierce fighting in Palawan province of the Philippines on Thursday, a military official said.

Brigadier General Nestor Herico, commander of the 3rd Marine Brigade, said a 10-minute clash erupted shortly before 6:00 a.m. local time in a village in Palawan province when marine soldiers encountered eight New People's Army (NPA) rebels while conducting reconnaissance security operations in the area.

Herico said government troops were sent to the village after villagers tipped off the presence of the rebels in the area. Some of the rebels killed were women cadres, he added.

He said troops recovered firearms, laptops, mobile phones, and documents in the clash site.

The NPA has been fighting the government since 1969. They concentrate their attacks in rural areas and small-scale skirmishes with the military.

The NPA strength is estimated at 3,500, a number significantly lower than its peak strength of around 25,000 in the 1980s.

On and off talks to end the decades-old insurgency that killed thousands stalled again last year.

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