Monday, October 10, 2011
MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 10, 2011) – Philippine troops and communist rebels battled fiercely on Monday in the northern province of Abra, leaving 9 people dead, officials said.
Officials said eight New People’s Army rebels and a soldier were killed in the fighting that erupted in the village of Tineg. The soldiers were patrolling the village when they ran into a group of rebels and a firefight ensued.
The fighting was so fierce that military helicopters were sent to the area to provide cover for ground troops. The clash lasted several hours and left one army soldier wounded.
It was not immediately known whether the fighting would trigger more clashes in the coming days or if it would affect peace talks between Manila and communist leaders.
The fighting came a day after rebels freed a southern Philippine town mayor and two soldiers after holding them for several months in captivity. The prisoners were released following appeals made by their families and humanitarian groups.
The rebels are fighting for the establishment of a Maoist state in the largely Catholic nation. (Mindanao Examiner)