Two rebels, soldier killed in Philippine clashes

Two communist rebels and a soldier have been killed in separate clashes as insurgents stepped up their attacks in the Philippines, military officials said Sunday.

New People's Army (NPA) rebels ambushed a group of soldiers in a remote village in Compostela Valley province in the southern island of Mindanao late Saturday, local infantry battalion chief Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Borja said.

One soldier was blown apart while seven of his colleagues were wounded in a landmine placed by the rebels in the ambush area, he said.

"The use of landmine by the NPA is another violation on the provisions of the international human rights law," Borja said.

Meanwhile, NPA rebels also attacked a column of soldiers on routine patrol in Quezon province just south of the capital Manila early Sunday, triggering a gun battle, army spokesman Major Harold Cabunoc said.

Two guerrillas were killed in the "running gun battle that ensued," he said.

In both cases, officials said the soldiers were responding to complaints by civilians of rebel harassments, including extortion activities.

The NPA is the armed unit of the Communist Party of the Philippines, which has been waging one of Asia's longest running insurgencies that began in 1969.

Last week, the guerrillas killed 11 soldiers and a civilian in a daring ambush of three army convoys led by a senior military official.

One of those killed in what was described as the NPA's most audacious attack in recent years was an army captain, but the apparent target -- a battalion commander -- survived the ambush.

The government last year boasted it had decimated the NPA ranks in many remote areas, putting its strength to about 4,000 fighters nationwide as of 2011 from a peak of 26,000 in the 1980s.

Peace talks between the government and the rebels were suspended in November, when Manila rejected demands to free 18 guerrillas the NPA said were consultants to its negotiators.

  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax small SUV rolls back to America 11 hours ago
    2015 Chevrolet Trax small SUV rolls back to America

    For the past two years, car shoppers from Acapulco to Winnipeg could wander into their Chevy dealers and kick the tires on a city-sized sport utility vehicle named the Trax — and about 90,000 have done so. Today, Chevy revealed the version of the Trax it will bring to the United States, for those less well-heeled buyers who want the shape of an SUV without the window sticker they usually carry.

  • Ford Transit Skyliner concept revives the ultra-luxury van 14 hours ago
    Ford Transit Skyliner concept revives the ultra-luxury van

    “Once you do stand-up, you don’t want to go back.” No, we’re not talking about comedy, but rather an emerging trend in luxury transport that’s bringing us ever taller, more capacious, more pimpdillyicious limousines. The quote came from a Ford designer, Tim Stoehr, predicting an increase in interest in limos based on big vans like the new Transit. Of course, these are nothing new; up-fitters have taken quite kindly to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and apparently Ford is chomping at the bit to get in on the action, too. So Ford enlisted the help of the largest Ford dealer in the world, Galpin Auto Sports in Van Nuys, Calif., to help design and build its first super-lux Transit concept, dubbed the Skyliner.

  • Driving the 2016 BMW X5 eDrive, the plugged-in SUV 19 hours ago
    Driving the 2016 BMW X5 eDrive, the plugged-in SUV

    Automakers worldwide have gradually (some would say grudgingly) attempted to make their high-profit and highly popular SUVs as efficient and clean-running as their lower weight passenger cars — namely through the grafting of a plug-in hybrid system.

  • Amazon to release smartphone later this year: report
    Amazon to release smartphone later this year: report

    Amazon is preparing to release a smartphone in the second half of 2014, thrusting itself into a market already crowded with Apple and Samsung models, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company aims to announce its new product by the end of June and ship to customers by the end of September in time for the holidays, the Journal said in a Friday report, citing unnamed people briefed on the matter. Amazon, it said, hopes to differentiate its phone from other models with a screen that displays hologram-like three-dimensional images, which can be viewed without special glasses. Earlier this month the retailer unveiled a new media streaming device, Amazon Fire TV, which it touted as simplifying the experience of watching video online.

  • Supermodel Qi Qi is afraid of flying
    Supermodel Qi Qi is afraid of flying

    The supermodel said that she will take her daughter in a vacation but will try to avoid boarding a plane

  • One dead as S. Korea ferry with 476 passengers sinks
    One dead as S. Korea ferry with 476 passengers sinks

    South Korea's coastguard said Wednesday one person had been killed as it struggled to rescue 476 people -- mostly high school students -- aboard a ferry that ran aground and sank off the southern coast. "The ferry is almost completely submerged," Lee said, adding that a detachment of South Korean Navy SEALS were taking part in the rescue. Of the 450 passengers on board the ferry bound for the southern resort island of Jeju, 325 were students from a high school in Ansan, south of Seoul. The 6,825-tonne ferry, which had sailed out of the western port of Incheon on Tuesday evening, ran into trouble some 20 kilometres (13 miles) off the island of Byungpoong.