RealNews

Preemptive Strikes Stop MILF Attempt to Block Cotabato-GenSan Highway

Soldiers simultaneously launched yesterday two separate pre-emptive strikes, promptly thwarting an attempt by Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels to block a secluded stretch of the Cotabato-Gen. Santos City Highway in Maguindanao and from nearly plundering a farming community in Kabacan, North Cotabato. Army Major Julieto Ando, spokesman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said they have been receiving feedback from local officials and Muslim religious leaders in the two provinces that 31 MILF rebels were killed in the two pre-emptive attacks, carried out with the help of the Tactical Operations Group 12, a unit in Central Mindanao of the Philippine Air Force. Ando said the first offensive was carried out when Muslim farmers spotted some 100 MILF rebels in Barangay Tubaran in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao, marching toward a strategic hill along a portion of the Cotabato-Gen. Santos Highway. Combatants of the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion, after having been informed by farmers on the presence of the MILF rebels in their community, counter-attacked, precipitating a two-hour firefight. So intense were the skirmishes that the soldiers have to use MG-520 attack helicopters and the PAF’s improvised Layang-Layang bombers to pound the advancing rebels until they were forced to retreat to the nearby hinterland border of Datu Odin Sinsuat and North Upi town, also in Maguindanao. Full Story

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