MANILA, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- At least six rebels were killed after government troops attacked a guerrilla hideout in the central Philippines early Wednesday, a military spokesman said.
Capt. Ryan Layug said the troops seized 16 firearms during the assault on a New People's Army (NPA) lair in the hinterland of Northern Samar province.
The military mounted the offensive after villagers tipped off the presence of the rebels in the area, he said, adding the soldiers used air support and artillery fire to subdue the rebels' heavily fortified position.
The spokesman said the rebels were involved in the attack on a community in Eastern Samar province where two soldiers died. Two other soldiers and a 10-year-old girl were also wounded in the Oct. 7 attack.
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.