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Communist rebel leader captured in Philippines

Associated Press Modified: October 6, 2012 at 5:16 am •  Published: October 6, 2012

Mendoza, 61, started as a student activist in the 1970s and rose through communist rebel ranks, heading the security unit for the central committee before becoming one of its members.

The 43-year-old communist insurgency is one of Asia's longest-running. The rebels' armed force has been reduced from a peak of about 25,000 fighters in the mid-1980s to about 4,000 due to battle losses, surrenders and internal conflicts.

The International Crisis Group, which monitors conflicts around the world, said more than 40,000 rebels, police, soldiers and civilians, have been killed in the fighting.

Peace talks brokered by Norway have been stalled over disagreements between government and rebel negotiators seeking the release of about a dozen other senior party leaders currently held in detention.