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Manila, May 21 – Philippine troops killed five suspected rebels in a series of clashes in the central Philippines, a military spokesperson said.
Lieutenant Colonel Israel Galorio of the Visayas Command said on Saturday that the first fighting broke out around 5 a.m. local time on Saturday, followed by two more clashes in Negros Occidental province, resulting in the death of five New People’s Army (NPA) members.
No soldier was killed or wounded in the clashes, Galorio said, adding the troops recovered assault rifles, homemade shotguns, pistols, grenades and ammunition, Xinhua news agency reported.
NPA rebels have been fighting the government since 1969. They concentrate their attacks on rural areas and have skirmishes with the military.
Military data showed that the NPA is estimated to have 2,000 members, significantly lower than its peak strength in the 1980s.