World Bulletin / News Desk
At least two members of a rebel group and a government soldier have died during clashes in the Philippines Muslim south, while three other rebels were injured.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines said in statement Friday that an hour-long firefight between troops and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) had left two rebels dead in a village in Maguindanao province on the southern island of Mindanao.
The statement said the rebels - believed to be headed by a commander named "Bongos" - had fled leaving their slain comrades behind.
Spokesperson Captain Maria Rowena Muyuela said Friday that the incident was followed by a bomb blast in nearby Maitumaig, in which a soldier died and three others belonging to the 45th Infantry Battalion were wounded as they travelled back to their headquarters.
Government troops are believed to be pursuing the suspected BIFF members.
The BIFF is a breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Philippines largest Muslim rebel group, who recently signed a peace pact with the government.
BIFF leader Umbra Kato began leading attacks in Mindanao in 2008 after the Supreme Court turned down a proposal on the return of Muslim ancestral domains.
He has vowed to continue the uprising because Malaysian-brokered talks have not lead to a separate Bangsamoro homeland on Mindanao.Last Mod: 06 Haziran 2014, 12:06