Policeman killed in clash with communist rebels in Philippines

Policeman killed in clash with communist rebels in PhilippinesManila  - A policeman was killed Friday and 11 were injured in a clash with communist rebels in a southern Philippine province, a military report said.

The report said the fighting erupted before dawn in the village of Cadunan in Mabini town in Compostela Valley province, 960 kilometres south of Manila.

It was not clear how the clash started, but the military said more troops have been dispatched to rescue the remaining policemen who were still engaged in a running gunbattle with about 60 rebels.

Troops were also sent to help defuse landmines set up by the guerrillas in the area of fighting.

The military said the government lost three assault rifles to the guerrillas during the fighting.

The clash occurred after Philippine government and guerrilla negotiators wrapped up informal talks in Oslo, Norway in a bid to restart stalled peace negotiations.

The three-day meeting, which ended on Thursday, was the first between the Philippine government and communist rebels in about three years.

Communist rebels have been fighting the government since the late 1960s, making the movement one of the longest-running leftist insurgency in Asia. (dpa)