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Fighting erupts between military, Muslim rebels in Southern Philippines

By: Xinhua Posted: November-26-2010 in
Xinhua

COTABATO, Philippines, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines attacked a military position on Thursday and engaged in gun battle as peace talk's resumption remained stalled.

At least 20 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) guerillas led by a commander, Pail Bajali, stormed the detachment of state militias around 10:00 a.m. in Sukaten village of Sumisip, Basilan province, said ground military commander Col. Nicanor Dolojan.

A firefight ensued, leaving casualties on the rebel's side.

"There were no reported casualties on the government side. Our men from the Special Operation Task Frock launch a pursuit operation," Dolojan said.

Earlier, the rebel's leader, Murad Ebrahim, has expressed skepticism about their chances in forging a peace agreement.

Ebrahim said the MILF has not seen any sign of the government' s capability to offer a lasting solution to the Moro problem.

He said that on the contrary, the peace talks "are becoming a counter-insurgency tool."

The MILF has been fighting government troops for decades in a bid to establish a self-rule Muslim state in the south of the predominantly Catholic country.

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