Soldiers, CAFGU members taken hostage by NPA in Agusan

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 19) — The military said two Army soldiers and 12 members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) were taken hostage by the New People's Army (NPA) in Agusan del Sur Wednesday.

Fourth Infantry Division Commander Major General Ronald Villanueva confirmed the abduction, adding members of the NPA also took two dozen firearms with them.

A report said around 50 NPA members attacked the New Tubigon Patrol Base in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur at around 3 a.m.

The military said the 3rd Special Forces Battalion is pursuing the perpetrators, and soldiers went to the area to investigate the incident. 

Government forces are on heightened alert as the NPA previously said it would overthrow the administration when it celebrates its 50th anniversary this month.

Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told CNN Philippines he would not suggest a holiday truce with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Meanwhile, the CPP has called on the NPA — its armed wing — to "mount tactical offensives across the country" as response to the extension of martial law in Mindanao for another year.

"All NPA units must exert all possible effort to punish the worst fascist units and officers of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) who have committed grave crimes against the people," a statement from CPP said hours after Congress approved President Rodrigo Duterte's request for the extension.

CNN Philippines senior digital producers Pia Garcia and Eimor Santos contributed to this report.