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At Least 10 Philippine Soldiers Killed In Ambush By Communist Rebels

At least ten Philippine solders have been killed in an ambush by Communist rebels in a remote village in the northern Ifugao province, media reports citing Army officials said on Wednesday.

Quoting regional police chief Benjamin Magalong, local media reported that two civilians were also injured in the attack, one of the deadliest carried out by the Communist rebels in recent years.

The New People's Army, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), has been fighting the Philippines government since 1969, and their insurgency is considered to be one of Asia's longest rebel movements.

The rebel group is estimated to have a cadre strength of over 5,400. The Philippine government says that that more than 120,000 people have died in Leftist insurgency since it began over 50 years ago. Apart from the Leftist threat, Philippines is also facing an Islamist separatist movement in the Mindanao region in the south.

Several countries, including the United States, had blacklisted the CPP and its leaders accusing them of terrorism in 2005, prompting an abrupt end to an earlier round of peace talks between the government and the rebel leaders.

Last year, the CPP and the Philippine government resumed negotiations aimed at hammering out a peace agreement that would lead to the disarmament of the rebel fighters as well as implementation of political and constitutional reforms.

But the peace negotiations, held under Norwegian mediation in Oslo after a gap of six years, ended dead-locked after the Philippine government rejected a rebel demand for releasing several of their captured comrades from prisons.

by RTT Staff Writer

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