World Bulletin / News Desk
Two Philippine soldiers and two communist rebels have been killed in a recent encounter that also left 15 troops wounded in the country’s troubled south, according to the military Friday.
Army spokesman Maj. Esra Balagtey told Anadolu Agency in an email that a clash took place on the outskirts of Davao City -- the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte -- after troops pursuing rebels ran into a landmine Wednesday afternoon.
The violence comes two weeks after the New People’s Army (NPA) -- the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) -- and the government called off unilateral cease-fires declared last year.
Balagtey said Friday that 3rd Infantry Battalion troops were pursuing armed men accused of burning a pineapple harvester owned by Del Monte Co. when they ran into a landmine reportedly set up by the NPA.
The blast killed two soldiers and wounded 15 others.
Two rebels were killed in a subsequent firefight, after which two firearms, two explosives and landmine-making material were recovered, according to the military.
In a Feb. 1 statement, the NPA withdrew its unilateral cease-fire, citing the Duterte administration's “failure” to release all political prisoners and the military's alleged encroachment on territory under the group’s control.
NPA spokesperson Ka Oris, however, said the group would continue to support peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF), the CPP’s political arm.
Duterte later announced the end of the government’s cease-fire and told authorities to get released NDF political prisoners who attended recent talks in Norway and Rome back in prison.
The government was supposed to resume formal peace talks with the NDF representatives this April in Oslo.
The insurgency has been running since 1968. It has claimed 30,000 lives, according to the military, and stagnated development.
Trump's special representative has blamed Hamas for causing "misery" in Gaza
It is still a wide-open race to succeed President Enrique Pena Nieto, who is deeply unpopular heading into the final stretch of his six-year term in a Mexico beset by endless corruption scandals and record levels of violent crime.
His comments came as he faces criticism from survivors of the attack over his ties to the powerful National Rifle Association, and after several thousand rallied in Florida to demand urgent action on gun control.
Temer came to the city to meet Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao, several ministers and General Walter Souza Braga Netto, who will lead the operation and who was in charge of coordinating security when the city hosted the 2016 Olympic Games.
Muslims have suffered the most by far from ISIL’s terrorist attacks, Iraqi premier tells Munich Security Conference
Israel struck six targets affiliated with Hamas's armed wing in Gaza Strip, Palestinian security source says
Washington concurs with Ankara on need for locals taking control of liberated areas, says US defense secretary
Army uses live ammunition, rubber bullets to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians in West Bank, Gaza
"Deal of the Century" refers to a back-channel U.S. plan to settle the Palestine-Israel dispute
Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete and Alejandro Murat, governor of the state of Oaxaca, were on their way to survey the scene of the destruction left by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake when the accident occurred, the interior ministry tweeted.
The arrival of Trump and his wife Melania came at the end of a difficult day for the families of those killed in Wednesday's rampage at a high school in Parkland, Florida, who learned that the carnage could perhaps have been averted.
Trump to consider report suggesting high tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum imports
Tanks to be integrated into Iraqi armed forces 'within days', Defense Ministry source says.
Army uses teargas and live ammunition to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians in West Bank city of Nablus