MANILA, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Five New People's Army (NPA) rebels were killed and three government soldiers injured in a clash early on Wednesday morning in the central Philippines, an army spokeswoman said.
Army First Lieutenant Revella Roperos said the troops battled an estimated 30 fighters from the left-wing NPA guerrillas in Minautok villagein, Calatrava town in Negros Occidental Province around 5:30 a.m. local time, sparking a gun battle that lasted an hour.
"The firefight lasted for about an hour, after which the enemy scampered to different directions," Roperos said, adding that three soldiers suffered injuries "but are all still in good physical conditions."
On April 17, government security forces also clashed with NPA rebels in the same town, leaving three NPA rebels killed, she said.
Several attempts were made since the 1980s to forge a peace pact between the government and the NPA rebels but failed.
The current administration led by President Rodrigo Duterte also made an attempt but also failed. Fresh peace talks between the government and the NPA were suspended in 2017.
The leftist rebellion has left about 40,000 combatants and civilians dead. It also has stunted the country's economic development, especially in the countryside.