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Marxist Rebels Attack Police and Troops in Philippines; 34 Dead

February 19, 1991|From United Press International

MANILA — At least 34 people were killed in clashes between government troops and communist guerrillas in two Philippine provinces, the army said Monday.

A military report said that a force of about 500 New Peoples Army rebels attacked a police company headquarters in Cagwait, 500 miles south of Manila, at dawn Sunday. The report said two policemen and three of the rebels were killed.

Five hours later, the report said, another band of guerrillas used land mines to ambush troops sent to reinforce the police headquarters, and six soldiers were killed in that attack.

Another report said that rebels on Saturday ambushed troops on their way to relieve soldiers in Lacub, Abra, 220 miles north of Manila, and four of the soldiers were killed.

The report said the reinforcing troops, backed by helicopter gunships and T-28 trainer aircraft, engaged the guerrillas in running gun battles overnight and killed 19 of the rebels. In all, 31 troopers were reported wounded and five were missing in the battle.

The 17,000-member NPA has been fighting the Manila government for 22 years, seeking to establish a Marxist state.

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