3 soldiers wounded in clash with leftist rebels in S Philippine city

14:29, July 30, 2010      

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At least three soldiers were wounded following a clash with suspected leftist rebels in this southern Philippine city early on Friday, the military said.

Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, spokesperson of the military's Eastern Mindanao Command said the incident happened at around 7:30 a.m. when patrolling troops from the army's 39th Infantry Battalion clashed with New People's Army guerrillas in upland Paquibato district.

Helicopter gunships from the Philippine Air Force 11th Tactical Operations Group provided rocket fire as the gun battle dragged on for more than 30 minutes, Lieutenant Colonel Aniano Orap-orap, battalion commander, told Xinhua by phone.

"We are still conducting clearing operations in the area as we received reports an NPA rebel was also killed," Orap-orap said, adding the wounded soldiers were flown by helicopter to a regional military hospital at the city proper.

The 4,000-strong NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is fighting a 41-year leftist insurgency in 60 of the Philippines' 80 provinces.

Source: Xinhua


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