Five soldiers, 11 communist rebels killed in Philippine fighting

Other News Materials 23 February 2009 16:05 (UTC +04:00)

Five government soldiers and 11 communist rebels were killed in clashes that erupted when troops raided a guerrilla camp in the southern Philippines, an army spokesman said Monday, dpa reported.

One soldier and 12 guerrillas were also wounded in the fighting on Sunday in Quezon town in Bukidnon province, 855 kilometres south of Manila, according to Major Michele Anayron.

Anayron said troops swooped down on a rebel camp in the village of Santa Cruz, triggering a four-hour gunbattle that killed one soldier and five guerrillas.

He said soldiers pursued the retreating guerrillas after overrunning the rebel camp, triggering another round of clashes in the nearby village of Lipa.

"Four soldiers died in the Lipa encounter and one was critically wounded while six communist rebels were killed," Anayron said.

He said pursuit operations were continuing against the guerrillas.

Communist rebels have been fighting the Philippine government since the late 1960s, making the movement one of the longest-running leftist insurgencies in Asia.