Two killed, 15 wounded in communist rebel attack in Philippines


  • Philippines
  • Saturday, 14 Dec 2019

In this file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte looking at hundreds of guns and weapons confiscated during a pro-Islamic State group siege in Marawi, southern Philippines, at the Philippine Army Headquarters in Manila, Philippines. Duterte decided to end martial law in the southern Philippines after more than two years after government forces weakened Islamic militant groups considerably with the capture and killing of their leaders, his spokesman said. - AP

MANILA: A police officer and a grandmother were killed and 15 people wounded in an attack by suspected communist rebels in the eastern Philippines, the military said on Saturday (Dec 14).

The attack occurred on Friday along a highway in Borongan City in Eastern Samar province, 582km south-east of Manila, said Captain Reynaldo Aragones, a regional army spokesman.

Ten of the wounded, including three children, were civilians, while five were police officers, he added.

"The attack is believed to be part of the Communist Party of the Philippines' celebration of its founding anniversary on Dec 26," Aragones said.

"This just proves that they have no respect for human rights and the lives of innocent civilians," he added. "They have no conscience."

The police officers were riding in a vehicle along the highway, when a huge explosion occurred followed by a volley of gunfire, said army major Patrick Martinez.

Unfortunately, a tricycle packed with civilians got caught in the crossfire, leaving a 69-year-old grandmother dead, he added.

The Philippine government condemned the attack, which came amid reports of efforts to resume stalled peace talks with Netherlands-based leaders of the communist rebels.

"The loss of life and the violence experienced by the victims are reprehensible," said Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

Communist rebels have been fighting the Philippine government since the late 1960s, making the movement one of the longest-running leftist insurgencies in Asia.

President Rodrigo Duterte terminated peace talks with the communist rebels in November 2017.

Efforts to resume the talks have so far failed in light of escalating violence. - dpa
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