Policeman shot dead in Philippines Muslim south

Communist insurgency claimed more than 3,000 lives over the past 8 years, according to Philippines military

Communist insurgency claimed more than 3,000 lives over the past 8 years, according to Philippines military

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - A policemen has died after being shot dead by suspected communist insurgents in the southern Philippines, authorities said Thursday.

Six New People's Army guerrillas shot Eleazar Carcallas in a remote village on the outskirts of Zamboanga - a majority Christian enclave in the country's Muslim south.

Police Inspector Dahlan Samuddin said that Carcallas managed to return fire but was already hit.

"The victim (Carcallas) sustained fatal gunshot on his right leg, cheek, and body. He died on the spot," said Samuddin.

Initial investigations said that the victim was walking home when members of the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (NPA) shot him with high-powered firearms.

Police and security forces are understood to be in pursuit.

The NPA has been waging a Maoist rebellion since 1969.

The military recently said membership had fallen from a peak of more than 26,000 in early 1987 to below 5,000.

The communist insurgency has claimed more than 3,000 lives over the past eight years, according to the military.

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