Philippines, clashes rekindled between military and communist rebels

COMMUNIST REBELSAfter the failure of negotiations in April, fighting has erupted between the New People’s Army and government troops in the north of the country: six dead in Tarlac. The guerrilla war has been going on for 35 years.Manila (AsiaNews) – Hostilities have been rekindled between the Philippine army and communist rebels in the north of the country. In the early hours this morning, New People‘s Army guerrillas, including a woman, were killed in a shout out in the region of Tarlac. “They are trying to extend their influence in the north of the country,” said military spokesman Ramon Zagala, in Manila.

The New People’s Army is a Communist-inspired rebel front that has been fighting Philippine government troops since 1968. The thirty years of strife has resulted in thousands of deaths and damaged the economy of rural areas in the center and north of the country. Despite the attempts of President Benigno Aquino, who has made the negotiations one of the first objectives of hismandate, talks failed in April rekindling hostilities with renewed intensity.

According to data provided by the army, the military action of the past 20 years have reduced the number of guerrillas from 26 thousand to no more than 4 thousand. “To avoid further loss of life in the crossfire, I invite the rebels to surrender to justice,” Zagala told AFP.

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