Communist Rebels Kill Seven Philippine Police

Communist Rebels Kill Seven Philippine Police

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

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

The officers were on their way to a medical exam in Allacapan, about 400 kilometres north of Manila, 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.