Philippine troops clash with leftist rebels in southern Philippines

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COTABATO, Philippines, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Filipino security forces clashed Thursday with leftist rebels in the southern Philippines, a military official said.

Regional military spokesman Major Randolph Cabangbang said soldiers encountered for 20-minutes undetermined number of New People's Army in the outskirt village of Daladag in Davao City but there were no reported casualties on both sides.

Cabangbang said fighting broke out after concerned civilians informed troops about the presence of guerrillas collecting revolutionary taxes.

"We have no casualties and we recovered anti-propaganda documents left behind by the enemy," he said.

Earlier Thursday, seven leftist rebels were killed by the military in a clash in the province of Bulacan.

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wanted to defeat the NPA on or before her term ends in June this year. Latest military estimates placed the NPA's strength at more than 4,000.

Editor: Zhang Xiang