Over a dozen people, mostly government security force personnel, were also wounded after the assault by the leftist rebels on a police station in Matanao town, an army detachment and an army convoy, Xinhua reported citing Capt. Ernest Carolina, spokesman of the Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division.
Carolina said 50 NPA guerrillas, who were disguised as soldiers, arrived on three vehicles at Poblacion village and attacked the Matanao town police station at around 4.30 a.m. A firefight ensued, killing two policemen and wounding five people, including two inmates who were caught in the crossfire.
Regional police spokesman Jed Clamor said the rebels also broke into the police station's armoury and took several weapons.
Soldiers manning a checkpoint engaged another group of NPA guerrillas in a firefight at around 5.30 a.m., killing two of the leftist rebels who had earlier harassed an army detachment south of Davao City, Carolina added.
Three hours later, soldiers in a convoy of trucks who were sent out as reinforcements were ambushed at Asbang village, also in Matanao town. The leftist rebels set off two landmines, killing seven soldiers and wounding eight others.