Philippine troops kill two suspected rebels in clash

Manila, July 9: Philippine troops killed two suspected rebels in a clash early Monday in Masbate province, southeast of Manila, a spokesperson for the Philippine military said.

Major Frank Roldan of the Philippine Army said the two New People’s Army (NPA) insurgents were killed in a 15-minute fighting that broke out before 7 a.m. local time in Esperanza town, reports Xinhua news agency.

He added that four rebels fled the encounter site, leaving behind their dead companies.

The troops recovered an M653 rifle, a calibre 38 revolver, and other personal belongings of the rebels. No government soldier was killed or wounded in the clash.

NPA rebels have been fighting the government troops since 1969. Despite the decreasing number of fighters, NPA rebels concentrate their attacks on rural areas and have skirmishes with the military.

Military data showed that the NPA’s personnel strength has declined since its peak of around 25,000 armed members in the 1980s.