• One killed, 12 other soldiers wounded in NPA ambush

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: Communist rebels ambushed a military truck and killed an infantryman and injured at least a dozen soldiers and militias in southern Philippines.

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    The attack happened late Saturday on a highway in Kitubo village in Bukidnon’s Kitaotao town where New People’s Army (NPA) rebels detonated a roadside bomb.

    The soldiers were returning to barracks when they were ambushed.

    The attack sparked a firefight but it was not immediately known whether any of the attackers was killed in the clash.

    The military did not release any statement on the incident but the police confirmed the daring attack.

    NPA rebels have vowed to continue attacks on military targets as government peace negotiators failed to convince the Maoist group to sign a ceasefire accord and pursue talks aimed at ending the decades-old insurgency in the country.

    President Rodrigo Duterte has scrapped peace negotiations with communist leaders and abandoned efforts by his peace negotiators to convince the rebels to stop attacks on government and military targets.

    Rebels demanded the immediate release of nearly 500 political prisoners, mostly NPA commanders and leaders, as a condition for the resumption of the stalled talks.

    Duterte already freed over two dozen communist leaders but the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, an umbrella group counting the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the NPA, as members, said the President should have released all political prisoners.

    AL JACINTO

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