MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine military says 14 communist rebels were killed in a clash with government troops south of the capital days after President Rodrigo Duterte officially terminated peace talks with insurgents and warned of a violent crackdown.
Capt. Melchor Durante, an army spokesman, said Wednesday two other rebels wounded in the clash in Nasugbu town, around 70 kilometers (43 miles) south of Manila, were evacuated to a hospital. The rebels' death toll in Tuesday night's encounter is the biggest in recent months. Five soldiers suffered minor injuries.
The communist rebellion in the Philippines has raged for 48 years, making it one of Asia's longest. Peace negotiations between the insurgents and Duterte's administration were earlier suspended due to sporadic clashes, and formally terminated by the government on Nov. 23.