RealNews

New Offensive Kills 50 MILFs

More than 50 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels were killed as government troops launched a fierce aerial and artillery attack on rebel positions in several areas in Mindanao, Armed Forces Southern Command (Southcom) chief Maj. Gen. Roy Kyamko said yesterday. Kyamko said the artillery barrage and airstrike came only minutes after President Arroyo ordered the military before leaving for the United States on Saturday, to conduct “selective aerial and artillery attacks to dislodge embedded terrorist cells” in Mindanao. He said the military fired no less than 157 rounds of 155-mm. and 105-mm. howitzers on rebel positions in Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and North Cotabato to support a ground assault by Army and Marine troops. Kyamko said Army and Marine units assembled before Saturday at Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte and the towns of Pualas, Tubaran and Marogong in Lanao del Sur. Three Army and two Marine battalions were also deployed from elsewhere in the country to augment the permanent garrisons in Mindanao. He said an airstrike by OV-10 Bronco planes and MG-520 helicopter gunships was supposed to have been launched simultaneously with the artillery barrage on Saturday but bad weather held it off until yesterday. Full Story

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