Philippine policeman killed, 8 wounded in clash with rebels

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A police officer was killed and eight others injured on Friday in a clash with suspected communist rebels in the Philippines, authorities said.

Two police officers also went missing after the firefight in the town of Magsaysay in Occidential Mindoro province, according to a police report.

The police officers were on their way back from a coordination meeting in the community when they encountered the guerrillas, triggering the firefight, dpa news agency quoted the report as saying.

Troops have been dispatched to hunt down the rebels and determine what happened to the missing police officers.

Communist rebels have in the past abducted government forces during clashes, using them as human shields from pursuing troops.

The hostages are often released unharmed, but there have been instances when the abducted enforcers were killed.

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

In November 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte terminated peace talks with the communist rebels amid unabated attacks by the guerrillas.

Efforts to resume the negotiations have so far failed.

–IANS

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