Manila — The Philippine military says government forces have killed seven communist rebels in the latest blow to the insurgents who have suffered battle losses in recent clashes.
Army brigade commander Colonel Henry Sabare says troops backed by police were checking reports about armed men in a village in northern Tarlac province late on Tuesday when they were fired upon by New People's Army rebels. The fighting ended early on Wednesday with seven rebels dead.
Sabare says the recovery of a machine gun and other high-calibre weapons indicate that a rebel leader was part of the group.
At least 14 guerrillas, including a regional officer of the underground Communist Party, were killed in earlier clashes this month.
Talks to end the 44-year insurgency have collapsed and the military intensified counter-insurgency operations.