Attacks by an Islamic rebel splinter group in North Cotabato province resulted in five deaths on Monday in the latest fighting linked to southern Mindanao’s troubled peace process.
Armed militants of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), attacked four villages at about 2am local time but were repelled by authorities.
A firefight, which peaked at about 8am, resulted in the deaths of four BIFF fighters and one soldier. Another soldier was wounded.
The rebels fled with 15 civilian hostages including 11 farmers whom they used as human shields to escape, said army spokesman Colonel Dickson Hermoso, as sporadic fighting continued in the area through the afternoon.
- Moro rebels attack North Cotabato (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Philippines: Rebels, government troops clash (vancouverdesi.com)
- New Muslim rebel attack in southern Philippines town (arabtimesonline.com)
- Attacks In Central Mindanao: Overestimating The Bangsamoro Splinter Group – Analysis (eurasiareview.com)
- New Muslim rebel attack in southern Philippines (dailystar.com.lb)