Nearly 80 members of the New People's Army (NPA) has seized 39 miners, including four children, at a gold mine in Mahayahay village in Mindanao, the Philippines, in early May.

Latest reports said many of the miners have been freed but at least 10 are still being held at the site.

A local military officer said the rebels wanted to use the civilians as “human shields” to stop government forces’ attacks.

The local authorities are making negotiations with the NPA to seek the release of the remaining victims.

The case took place on May 3, just one day after Filipino police arrested a leader of the force on the charge of masterminding the killing of many government soldiers in Davao del Sur and Cotabato provinces.

The NPA, which has around 4,000 members, has been operating since 1969. President Benigno Aquino has hoped to reach a peace deal with the rebels.
before his six-year term ends in 2016, but peace talks have so far yielded no results.-VNA