7 police commandos killed in NPA ambush in Cagayan

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Communist insurgents killed seven police commandos on Monday, authorities said, the latest in a series of attacks by the rebels this year that have left dozens of people dead.

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The New People’s Army rebels killed the seven and wounded seven other officers in an ambush two kilometers (1.2 miles) from a police station in the remote farming town of Allapacan, Cagayan, regional police spokesman Cesar Orlanes told reporters.

The officers were on their way to a medical exam in Allacapan when a landmine exploded under their vehicle, followed by firing from the guerrillas, he said.

The victims were all members of the Special Action Forces, an elite police unit trained in counter-insurgency tactics that is typically involved in security operations against communist rebels.

The NPA has been waging a 44-year-old Maoist armed campaign that has claimed at least 30,000 lives, according to a government estimate.

The government said in April peace talks with the communists had collapsed and a target of ending the insurgency by 2016 was impossible to achieve.

The NPA, which is believed to have about 4,000 fighters, has conducted a series of high-profile attacks this year.

The deadliest occurred in January, when nine police and security forces were killed in another ambush. Last month rebels also killed two aides of a town mayor who is a member of President Benigno Aquino’s Liberal Party. AFP

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