Soldiers rescue MILF men from Abu rebels

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Soldiers rescued members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) from rival extremists despite frayed ties over the killing of 44 policemen last month, a military report said.

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Members of the MILF, which is engaged in a peace process with the government, were besieged by the rival Abu Sayyaf Group in Basilan on Saturday, requiring military intervention, said a statement from the regional military command.

“Three platoons . . . along with armored vehicles together with some members of MILF in the area . . . proceeded to the encounter site to reinforce the beleaguered MILF members who were engaged in the firefight,” the statement said.

One wounded MILF fighter was evacuated by the soldiers who later overran an Abu Sayyaf camp and are believed to have killed one Abu Sayyaf leader, it added.

MILF members and other Muslim fighters ambushed and killed 44 police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, last January 25.

The MILF have said they were only acting in self-defense but the massacre of the commandos has led many people to question the sincerity of the Muslim separatist group.
Aquino has said the peace process must continue to avoid a return to decades of fighting that claimed tens of thousands of lives over previous decades.

It was unclear why the MILF members were fighting guerrillas of the Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim extremist group with ties to the al-Qaeda network and who have been blamed for the worst terror attacks in the country’s history.
AFP

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