MANILA, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Four Philippine government troopers died while three others got injured as members from the leftist rebel group of New People's Army (NPA) attacked a military detachment in Balingasag, a town in Southern Philippine province of Misamis Oriental on Sunday.
Captain Christian Uy, spokesman for the Philippine Army's 4th Infantry Division, said an undetermined number of NPA rebels around a military outpost in Kibanban village, Balingasag shortly after 1 a.m Sunday, unleashing volley of gunfire and throwing Molotov bombs on the installation made of light materials.
Uy said a portion of the detachment caught fire in the process, and 18 troops, who were manning the detachment, tried to defend their post but withdrew around 5 a.m. because they were overpowered by the insurgents.
"The rebels threw Molotov bombs, burning a portion of the detachment which was made of light materials...They (rebels) were able to get inside (the detachment) and later left," the official said.
He said the fighting left an Army soldier and three militiamen dead, while another soldier and two more militiamen were wounded. He said the rebels also suffered casualties as evidenced by traces of blood in their positions, but he did not know the exact figure.
Uy said military and police forces have been deployed to pursue the perpetrators. He said coordination is being made with other agencies "to give justice to the victims of this cowardly harassment."
The NPA was formed on March 29, 1969. The latest military estimates placed the NPA's strength at about 4,000.