MANILA - Sixteen alleged members of the New People's Army (NPA) rebel group were killed in joint military operations in a town in Eastern Samar on Monday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said.
AFP spokesman Col. Ramon Zagala said in a statement that troops acted on a tip that pointed them to an explosives manufacturing site and hideout by NPA rebels in Brgy. Osmena in Dolores town.
Security forces under Joint Task Force Storm reportedly engaged with the bandits around 4 a.m. and led to the deaths of the rebels.
Authorities seized 29 high-powered firearms from the rebels, Zagala said.
Both the Philippines and the United States have designated the NPA and its political wing, the Communist Party of the Philippines, as terror groups.
Manila earlier canceled peace talks with the communist movement citing rebel attacks on state troops as negotiations were ongoing.