Authorities confirmed the deaths of six soldiers following clashes with New People's Army (NPA) fighters in Eastern Visayas region on Tuesday, April 23. NPA militants reportedly detonated a mine targeting a patrol at 02:45 (local time) approximately 12 km (7.5 mi) from Calbiga (Samar province), before opening fire. A total of six soldiers were killed and nine others were wounded in the fighting. Further clashes with NPA forces are likely in the coming weeks and months in the central Philippines, particularly Eastern Visayas region.
The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines; the group recently marked its 50th anniversary on March 29. Conflict between the NPA and the government has escalated recently, partly due to the failure of peace talks on March 21. The NPA is believed to have around 3500 fighters in their ranks who engage in killings, bombings, and hostage-taking across the archipelago.
Individuals in Samar province, and Eastern Visayas more generally, are advised remain vigilant for militant activity, monitor developments to the security situation, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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