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Top NPA leader killed in Mindanao clash

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A communist leader who led a series of attacks on government targets had been killed in the southern Philippines, army officials said Sunday.

Officials said Ricardo Manili, a senior leader of the New People’s Army, was killed along with four other rebels following a recent clash in the village of Calabuan in Agusan del Sur’s Esperanza town.

“We have received confirmation that Ricardo Manili and four of his followers were killed during the operation,” Major Eugenio Osias, a spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division, told the Mindanao Examiner.

Osias said Manili’s family also confirmed Sunday to the military that the rebel leader was dead. “The killing of Manili is big blow to the NPA. He was an iconic figure to the rebels in Mindanao,” he said.

The military linked Manili, who headed the NPA’s regional operations command, to the August raid on a police station in Misamis Oriental’s Medina town; the July attack on the Minergy mining firm in Claveria town also in the province, among others.

“Manili was responsible for many tremendous atrocities in Mindanao and his death would surely bring a sigh of relief to many of his victims,” Osias said.

Just this month, rebel forces raided three mining firms in the town of Claver in Surigao del Norte province in Mindanao, and vowed of more attacks.

The raids by some 200 rebels were in retaliation for the destruction of the environment and human rights abuses allegedly committed by the Tag-anito High-Pressure Acid Leaching, Tag-anito Mining Corporation, and the Platinum Gold Metal Corporation against local tribesmen and workers.

The NPA has been fighting the government for decades for the establishment of a communist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)





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