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Philippine army says seven leftist rebels killed in clash

The Philippine military said Thursday it killed seven communist rebels in a gun battle in the north of the country.

The firefight occurred the day before near the municipality of Pantabangan as the army battled about 20 New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas, said Maj. Jimson Masangkay, spokesman for the 7th Infantry Division.

Troops recovered the bodies of seven rebels, a military statement said, adding there were no casualties among government forces.

The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, which has waged one of the world’s longest Maoist insurgencies.

The Philippine military estimates there are fewer than 2,000 guerrillas left, and firefights have become less frequent.

Hundreds of communist rebels have surrendered in recent years in exchange for financial assistance and livelihood opportunities, according to the government.— Agence France-Presse

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