Updated: 05/21/2014 03:15 | By Agence France-Presse

Three leftist rebels dead as Philippines foils raid

Three communist insurgents were killed Tuesday when police fought off an attack on their remote station in the southern Philippines, officials said.

Three leftist rebels dead as Philippines foils raid

New People's Army rebels make a formation at an unspecified location in the hinterlands of Surigao del Sur province, in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on December 26, 2009 - by Mitchell Maduro

About a hundred New People's Army (NPA) rebels attacked the police station in the rural town of President Roxas in Cotabato province on Mindanao island, said regional police spokesman Senior Inspector Aldrin Gonzales.

Officers on duty fought back, killing three attackers and arresting a fourth guerrilla who was wounded, Gonzales added.

"The police station was covered with bullet holes after the 40-minute firefight. And it was just newly constructed too," he told reporters.

A police officer was wounded in the attack by rebels who drove up in a truck, he added.

The NPA is the 4,000-member armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, whose rebellion has claimed tens of thousands of lives since 1969.

The group specialises in attacking remote police and army outposts and extorting money from rural businesses, according to Filipino authorities.

However the rebels have suffered reverses in recent months, with the government capturing three of their most senior leaders since March in what has been described by the military as a deadly blow to the movement. 

President Benigno Aquino had hoped to reach a peace deal with the insurgents before his six-year term ends in 2016, but planned peace talks have been hampered by rebel demands that detained comrades be freed.

The capture of the senior leaders has further dimmed the prospect of new talks, analysts have said.

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