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4 soldiers killed in clash in Philippines

world Updated: Apr 27, 2008 09:57 IST
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Four government troops were killed and three wounded in a clash with communist rebels in southern Philippines, police said on Sunday.

The clash occurred on Saturday afternoon in the town of Monkayo in Compostela Valley province, 945 km south of Manila.

Superintendent Ronald dela Rosa, provincial police chief, said that government soldiers and militia members were on combat patrol when they encountered a group of rebels.

"Two soldiers and two militiamen were killed in the 30-minute gunbattle," he said.

Dela Rosa said that the rebels seized the firearms of the troops, including five assorted rifles, before retreating to the mountains.

There were no reported casualties on the rebel side.

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