Philippine police capture communist rebel commander


Philippine police said Wednesday they had arrested the a communist rebel leader following a gunfight in which he was injured. The incident could derail peace talks due to resume in a week.


Tirso Alcantara, commander of the New People’s Army, was captured late Tuesday after police and military intelligence tracked him to a hideout in Lucena city, 100 kilometres south of Manila.

In a brief exchange of fire Alcantata sustained a gunshot wound to his buttocks.

It is feared the incident could affect planned negotiations in the Norwegian capital Oslo between NPA rebel leaders and the government.

The 4,700-strong NPA is the armed unit of the Philippines’ Communist Party which has been waging a Maoist rebellion since 1969, leaving thousands dead.

Communist Party leaders have demanded that Alcantara be released before talks begin, according to Manila’s chief peace negotiator.


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