Leftist rebels seize policeman, soldier in S. Philippines


Leftist rebels have abducted a soldier and a policeman in southern Philippines and operations have been launched to rescue the victims, the military said on Friday.

About 30 New People's Army guerrillas, at least a dozen of whom in military uniforms, set up a checkpoint along a village road in typhoon-devastated Compostela Valley province in Mindanao, and snatched a soldier and a policeman, according to Jacob Obligado, commander of the army's 10th civil-military operations battalion.

Obligado said the incident happened around 9:30 a.m. on Thursday in Imelda village, with the insurgents stopping motorists and conducting personal checks.

"(The soldier) was on his way to visit his girlfriend at the nearby village when seized," Obligado told Xinhua in a text message. He said the victims had happened to pass by the rebel checkpoint when abducted. The kidnappers then fled, bringing along with them the two victims.

The 4,000-strong NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been fighting a leftist insurgency in 60 Philippine provinces since 1969.