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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 November 2005, 11:06 GMT
Philippines troops die in ambush
At least nine soldiers have been killed and 20 wounded in a rebel ambush in the Philippines, the army has announced.

Their truck was hit by a crude land mine late on Saturday as they were returning to base near Calinog town.

The left-wing rebels then sprayed the survivors with gunfire, leading to a one-hour shootout before the attackers retreated, an army spokesman said.

In a separate attack several hours later, a policeman was killed and three were wounded in Quezon province.

The army blamed both attacks on the Maoist New People's Army (NPA), which has been fighting the central government since the 1960s.

Soldiers are chasing the rebels who carried out the Calinog ambush, the army said.

Spokesman Maj Bartolome Bacarro said the rebels had tried to take weapons from the dead soldiers after the initial attack but were driven off by the survivors.

"I believe our troops managed to inflict heavy casualties on the rebel side," he said.

The NPA broke off Norwegian-brokered peace talks last year when the Philippines government refused to ask Washington to take the rebels off the US list of terrorist groups.

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