NPAs kill 5 soldiers, wound 2 others

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It happened on the first day of the Christmas truce between gov't and the rebels.

MANILA, Philippines – New People’s Army rebels gunned down five soldiers and wounded two others on the first day of the government-declared 18-day Christmas truce with the guerrillas.

Reports from the Eastern Mindanao Command based in Davao said that at 5 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 16, 2011, the NPA attacked troops conducting a “community outreach” program in Barangay Mabuhay, Tandag City, Surigao del Sur.

The incident killed five soldiers and wounded two others. The military is withholding their identities.

The troops also lost 10 high-powered firearms to the rebels, the military said.

Only on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011, President Benigno Aquino III approved the declaration of an 18-day ceasefire between government troops and the NPA beginning on Friday until Jan. 2, 2012. –

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