Eleven soldiers killed in clash with rebels in the Philippines

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

According to officials, at least eleven solders in the Philippines were killed and several others injured on Saturday after a gunfight with Communist rebels in Mindoro, a province south of the capital Manila. It was the deadliest incident between the two since the start of the year.

Army officials commented that a platoon of Filipino soldiers accidentally entered the grounds of the New People's Army (NPA) rebel camp.

"The two sides exchanged fire a few meters apart," remarked army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Noel Detoyato. "[...] The troops fought it out literally to the last bullet." He commented that the gunfight lasted for about three hours, that about sixty NPA rebels were involved in the clash, and that seven of the Filipino troops were injured.

Another army spokesman, Colonel Romeo Brawner, noted that the troops were in the vicinity as part of security measures implemented for the elections in May, so that the candidates would be able to safely campaign.