RealNews

9 Slain as Muslim Rebels Block Highway in Southern RP

Nine Muslim separatist guerrillas were killed and four civilians were wounded Tuesday as the rebels blocked a highway in the southern Philippines, a military official said. Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters blocked a major highway leading to the southern city of Cotabato before dawn, local military commander, Colonel Agustin Dima-ala said. They fired at two delivery trucks, wounding the drivers and crew and then used the commandeered vehicles as roadblocks. They also burned three wooden electrical poles in the area, the colonel added. After sunrise, soldiers drove the MILF rebels away, killing nine of them. Three rocket launchers and four M16 rifles were recovered from the scene, Dima-ala said. MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu however said that four soldiers were killed and eight wounded in the clash. He said he had heard there were MILF casualties as well but would give no details. The 12,500-strong MILF has been on the offensive ever since the military overran one of their strongholds near Pikit town last month. The group has been blamed for a series of attacks on the civilians, the worst being the bomb blast in the city of Davao on March 4 that claimed 21 lives and injured more than 150 others. Full Story

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