Philippine military (Source: EPA/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Philippine military on November 29 said fifteen suspected militants including six women were killed in a gun battle in Manila, five days after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called off peace talks between the government and rebels.

Late on November 28, local residents reported seeing armed men enter a van and a truck in the town of Nasugbu 65km south of Manila, prompting authorities to send troops, said military spokesman Colonel Teody Toribio.

When soldiers tried to stop the vehicles on a highway, a gun battle broke out that left 15 suspects dead, while five soldiers were wounded, added Toribio.

About 30,000 people have died in conflicts between the Philippine government and armed groups since 1969.

President Duterte’s government resumed negotiations with militants in August 2016, though talks were often interrupted by flares up of violence.

On November 21, the Philippine President declared war on the groups and called them terrorist groups due to the deadly attacks on Philippine soldiers and police.

He signed an announcement on November 23, ending peace talks with rebel groups in the country.-VNA