At least six separatist rebels were killed and two soldiers were wounded as they clashed Sunday night in the troubled southern Philippines, a military official said on Monday, Xinhua reported.
Nearly 50 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) stormed a detachment of the Philippine Army's 75th Infantry Battalion in the township of Mamasapano, Maguindanao province around 7:00 p.m. local time (1100 GMT), resulting in the one-hour fighting.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Ponce, a local Army spokesman, told reporters six rebels were killed in the encounter and they suffered two injured soldiers.
The military official said hundreds of civilians have also fled their homes since Sunday night for fear of more clashes.
Peace talks between the government and the 11,800-member MILF collapsed in August 2008 after the two sides failed to sign a territory agreement as scheduled, prompting some radical rebels to launch deadly attacks on Christian communities in the region.