Three Philippine soldiers killed, 21 hurt in communist rebel attack

Manila  - Three government soldiers were killed and 21 injured on Monday when communist rebels attacked a military convoy in a southern Philippine province, officials said.

The troops were aboard two military trucks when they were ambushed by an undetermined number of guerrillas in President Roxas town in North Cotabato province, 960 kilometres south of Manila.

Lieutenant Colonel Ernesto Torres, an army spokesman, said the soldiers were returning to camp from combat operations when the attack occurred at dawn.

Senior Superintendent Lester Camba, provincial police chief, said one of the military trucks hit a landmine in the village of Ilustre.

The guerrillas then opened fire at the soldiers, Camba said.

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