(dpa) - Two soldiers were killed in an attack by communist rebels in a village in a central Philippine province, an army spokesman said Saturday.
Lieutenant Colonel Ernesto Torres said one other soldier was wounded when they were ambushed late Thursday by about 20 rebels in San Remegio town in Antique province, 435 kilometres south of Manila.
Torres said the soldiers were on their way back to a nearby army headquarters, after escorting the town mayor who inaugurated a school building in the area, when they hit a landmine of the guerrillas.
"The guerrillas' use of landmine is deplorable, another proof of their defiance to the international ban on the use of landmines," he said.
Torres added that the government troops lost two assault rifles to the rebels during the firefight, but more troops have been dispatched to the area to pursue the guerrillas.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her top military officials have vowed to reduce to insignificance the operations of communist rebels in the country.
Communist rebels have been fighting the government since the late 1960s, making the movement one of the longest-running leftist insurgencies in Asia.