MANILA, Philippines (UPI) - Government troops and communist rebels fought a number of battles throughout the Philippines over the weekend, killing at least 24 people, authorities said Monday.

Two suspected members of the communist New People's Army were shot and killed by police in an encounter at dawn Monday in Camalig, Albay province, 200 miles southeast of Manila, police said.The two men, Perfecto Valenzuela and Leo Santos, were believed to be behind the slayings of two policemen and five government agents, said provincial commander Lt. Col. Meynardo Beltran.