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Philippine Maoists attack on army outpost, kill 7 troops

MANILA (Reuters) - About 70 communist New People's Army (NPA) rebels attacked and overran an army outpost on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, killing a soldier and six part-time troops, a police general said on Friday.

Antonio Nanas, regional police chief, said the Maoist rebels surprised an undermanned army outpost in Las Nieves town late on Tuesday night, attacking from three directions.

"A soldier was killed in the initial burst of gunfire," Nanas told reporters, adding a team of soldiers and reservists defended their positions for several minutes before they were overwhelmed by superior firepower.

The rebels ransacked the detachment and captured six reservists. They were later executed. "We found their bodies not far from the outpost," he said.

The NPA, fighting one of the world's oldest communist insurgencies and active in 69 of 81 provinces, often attacks remote military and police facilities to steal weapons and ammunition.

The Philippines, which is also fighting Muslim insurgents, has said that the NPA is its biggest security threat. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered an all-out war against the communists in June 2006.

Peace talks between the government and the rebels stalled in 2004 after the United States and some European countries put the NPA and its leaders on terrorist blacklists

On Thursday, the NPA's political leaders, based in The Netherlands, rejected Manila's proposal for a ceasefire as a condition before talks could be re-started, describing it as an unacceptable demand tantamount to capitulation.

http://in.today.reuters.com

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posted by Resistance 6/29/2007 04:31:00 PM,

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