Two Muslim separatist rebels killed in Philippine clash
Two Muslim separatist rebels were killed in a clash with government troops in a southern Philippine province, a local official said Thursday.
The firefight occurred in Sibuco town in Zamboanga Del Norte province, 810 kilometres south of Manila, on Wednesday, according to town Mayor Norbi Edding, reproted dpa.
Edding said the clash erupted when Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels attacked an outpost of government militiamen in the boundary of Sibuco and Zamboanga City.
He said the MILF rebels were led by a commander who was behind a series of harassment and extortion activities in Sibuco.
The MILF is the largest Muslim rebel group fighting for an independent Islamic state in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao.
Peace talks between the group and the Philippine government have were suspended in August after the guerrillas launched a series of deadly attacks in Mindanao.
The attacks and subsequent fighting between the MILF and the Philippine military have killed nearly 300 people and displaced more than 500,000 people.
The MILF launched the attacks to protest a Supreme Court order stopping the signing of a key agreement that would have expanded an existing Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.
The government eventually scrapped the agreement, which the Supreme Court ruled to be unconstitutional.
The government has called for a resumption of the peace talks, but the MILF has resume negotiations following the failed territory deal.