• Rebels attack soldiers in Maguindanao

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: Suspected Moro rebels attacked a group of soldiers who were on a training exercise in Datu Unsay town in Maguindanao on Wednesday, wounding an infantryman.

    Reports said the assault on the troops occurred in the village of Meta, where more than a dozen gunmen opened fire on the soldiers of the 34th Infantry Battalion. It was not immediately known if any of the ambushers were killed or wounded in the clash.

    The military blamed the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) for being behind the attack.

    There was no immediate statement from the BIFF, whose members were mostly former fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which signed an interim peace deal with the government in 2014.

    Both the BIFF and the MILF had been tagged as being behind the carnage that killed 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in Mamasapano town in January 2015.

    The commandos were in a secret mission inside MILF territory to arrest the Malaysian bomber, Marwan, who was eventually killed by the raiders. But MILF gunmen and the BIFF – alerted by the clandestine mission approved by former Pres. Benigno Aquino 3rd – caught up with the elite policemen and engaged them in a battle until all of them were brutally killed and stripped of their weapons and uniform.

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