MANILA (Xinhua): Philippine troops killed five suspected rebels in a clash on Thursday (Feb 9) in Masbate, a province in Bicol region on the main Luzon island, a military spokesperson said.
Army Major Frank Roldan said the fighting broke out at around 6am local time between the troops and around 20 New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Cawayan, a town in Masbate.
Roldan said the troops also captured four more rebels, one of them injured, in the wake of the fighting.
He added the troops recovered six high-powered firearms from the clash site.
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.