DAVAO CITY, Philippines, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Leftist rebels ambushed government troops on peace and development missions in southern Philippines on Sunday, wounding three soldiers, police said Monday.
New People's Army guerrillas detonated an improvised landmine and opened fire at a group of soldiers and militiamen on a routine security patrol at the village of Napungas, Asuncion town, in Mindanao's Davao del Norte province at around 8 a.m., said provincial police chief Samuel Gadingan.
Gadingan said a brief clash ensued before the rebels fled as government reinforcements were coming in.
The police official said pursuit operations have been launched against the insurgents.
Sunday's attack capped a violent week for government security forces in the resources-rich Davao region, where clashes have killed or wounded over a dozen people.Rebels held hostage of 39 people, mostly gold miners, using them as "human shields."
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.