Thursday, October 28, 2010

2 commies killed in Zamboanga province

ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 28, 2010) – Government troops killed two communist rebels in a raid on a jungle encampment in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga Sibugay, an army commander said Thursday.

Colonel Santiago Baluyot, who heads the 102nd Infantry Brigade, said troops raided the encampment in the town of Siay on Wednesday and killed the rebels in a firefight.

He said there were no military casualties and that troops also recovered weapons and anti-government propaganda.

Santiago said the camp was being used by the New People’s Army as a springboard to attack government forces in the town. He said troops tracked down the camp after civilians provided information about the rebels who are fighting for a separate Maoist state in the country.

“Civilians are constantly providing us information about lawless groups not only in the town, but in other areas in the provinces as well. The villagers are cooperating with the authorities,” he said.

The fighting broke out ahead of the government proposed resumption of peace talks with communist rebels in an effort to end decades of bloody insurgency in the country.

Peace negotiations collapsed in 2004 after rebel leaders accused then President Gloria Arroyo of reneging on several accords, among them the release of political prisoners languishing in jails across the country.

New Philippine President Benigno Aquino said the government is committed to end the communist insurgency. “As our people power is enshrined in the ways of peace, so will be my resolve to address the root causes of the armed conflict and bring about societal reforms,” he said. (With a report from Becky de Asis)

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