At least 28 soldiers were killed as fighting between government troops and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) guerrillas raged overnight Wednesday in the areas of Maguindanao and Lanao del Norte, a rebel spokesman claimed. On the other hand, the military announced the surrender of 97 MILF guerrillas, six of them commanders of the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), in Iligan City yesterday. Vice President Teofisto Guingona administered the oath of allegiance to the rebel returnees who were assured by authorities that their families will be taken care of. Guingona also assured thousands of civilians displaced by the fighting that “there will be no letup in the national government’s delivery of relief assistance.” Although admitting some setbacks, MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu said they suffered minimal casualties and claimed to have withstood military attacks in Camp Abubakar in Maguindanao, in Pikit, North Cotabato, Datu Piang town and Matanog, also in Maguindanao. Full Story
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