Communists kill one, wound nine in Philippine ambush

Communist insurgents ambushed police trainees in the Philippines Friday, killing one and wounding nine others in the latest of a series of attacks on unarmed targets, officials said.

Nearly a hundred trainees, including about 70 women, were jogging in the northern mountain town of Tadian on Friday when guerrillas from the New People's Army opened fire on them, said regional police spokesman Davy Limmong.

"For many years, we have had no ambushes in this area. The area is secured by the army and our patrols and we were near the town centre so we did not expect this attack," he told AFP.

The attack comes soon after NPA fighters kidnapped five unarmed soldiers in the southern island of Mindanao on June 18 and killed eight unarmed police commandoes in the main island of Luzon in late-May.

They also killed five timber plantation workers in a raid in the south on June 18.

National police spokesman Reuben Sindac said strikes against unarmed targets was typical of the guerrillas.

"The NPA do not distinguish between combatant or non-combatant. They have carried out similar hostilities against medical missions and civic action personnel," he said in a statement.

The NPA has been waging a 44-year Maoist armed campaign that has claimed at least 30,000 lives. The military estimates the guerrillas' ranks at about 4,000 fighters.

The government of President Benigno Aquino had opened peace talks aimed at ending the communist insurgency before his term expires in 2016 but the negotiations collapsed allegedly over communist demands.

The chief government negotiator with the communists resigned earlier this month, citing his frustration with the stalled talks.