Manila: Philippine officials say communist rebels have attacked a prison van transporting detainees, freeing a comrade and taking four prison guards hostage.
Army spokesman Maj Eugenio Osias says a large group of New People`s Army rebels blocked the van`s path before dawn on Thursday in southern Bukidnon province. He says the rebels overpowered the 10 guards and were able to free a detained rebel.
He says they took four guards hostage, but left the others behind. Also left behind were seven other prisoners.
He says police and soldiers are tracking down the rebels.
The government and the rebels resumed talks in February to end one of Asia`s longest-running Marxist rebellions, but clashes have continued in the countryside.