Local police chief in S. Philippines killed in encounter with leftist rebels

11:26, August 22, 2010      

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A chief of police in a town in southern Philippines was killed in an encounter Saturday with undetermined number of New People's Army (NPA) rebels, police said.

Police Inspector Christopher Mazo, chief of police of Lianga Municipal Police Station, was hit on the head during the gun battle at around 1:30 p.m. in Danao village, Lianga town, Surigao del Sur province, said Police Chief Supt. Lino Calingasan of the Police Regional Office 13.

The joint elements of the Philippine Army and Mazo's group were on their way back to police station after escorting a personnel from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, who conducted an inventory of the seized logs, when the encounter ensued.

The rebels were believed to be the owners of the seized logs, Calingasan said, adding Mazo was brought to a nearby hospital but was declared dead on the spot.

The police and military forces are now conducting pursuit operations against the suspects, who allegedly sustained undetermined casualties.

The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been waging a guerrilla campaign in the countryside for four decades. Military estimates the NPA strength at more than 4,000 men scattered in more than 60 guerrilla fronts throughout the country.

Peace talks between the government and the leftists bogged down after the United States included the NPA and its parent body as foreign terrorist organizations in 2002.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:王千原雪)

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