Philippine communist rebels declare temporary cease-fire in typhoon-affected areas

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The dwindling band of communist rebels in the Philippines has declared a temporary cease-fire in areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

The government welcomed the cease-fire, but urged the insurgents to make it permanent and nationwide.

In a statement on a Communist Party website seen Saturday but dated Thursday, the New People's Army said it would halt offensive actions and concentrate on typhoon relief work until Nov. 25.

The military claims that the insurgency is all but defeated on the worst-hit islands of Leyte and Samar, and attacks have rarely been reported there in recent years.

The insurgency peaked in the 1980s. In recent years, the rebels have been limited to sporadic hit-and-run attacks and extortion.

Foreign aid groups have not expressed security-related concerns about operating on the two islands.