Communist rebels kill 6 Philippine troops in ambush

Manila, Nov 12 (AFP/APP): A communist rebel ambush killed six Philippine soldiers and wounded 20 others, the military said Tuesday, in one of the deadliest assaults in the nation’s five-decade-old Maoist insurgency.

Troops patrolling on foot on the eastern island of Samar were hit with homemade bombs and fought a 30-minute gunfight with New People’s Army rebels on Monday.

“They used IEDs (improvised explosive devices), leading to a large number of casualties,” regional military spokesman Captain Reynaldo Aragones told AFP, adding one rebel was also killed.

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The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, launched its rebellion to create a Maoist state in 1969. According to the military, the insurgency has claimed 40,000 lives.

Samar is an impoverished region that is fertile ground for recruitment by the 4,000-member NPA.

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