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NPAs Slay Army Major

A Philippine army major was killed by a member of a suspected communist guerilla hit squad while trying to arrange for the surrender of a communist rebel, an army statement said Friday. Maj. Danilo Billon was in the town of Catarman in Sorsogon province, negotiating for the surrender of an unidentified communist guerilla when he was shot in the head by an assailant, the military reported.

Two other former communist rebel leaders have been shot dead by suspected communist assassins last week, raising fears that the guerillas are on an assassination campaign.

The killer is believed to be one of the assassins of the communist New People’s Army (NPA), the military added. Talks between Manila and the CPP-NPA collapsed in 2001 after the rebels gunned down two legislators.