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12 militants killed in Maguindanao del Sur

Agence France-Presse
12 militants killed in Maguindanao del Sur
Map of Maguindanao del Sur
Wikimedia

MANILA, Philippines — Twelve militants have been killed in the southern Philippines during a gun battle with security forces that left seven soldiers wounded, the army said in a statement.

The firefight happened Monday in Maguindanao del Sur province on Mindanao island, a haven for multiple armed groups ranging from communist insurgents to Islamist militants.

The Philippine Army said the leader of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters-Karialan Faction and his brother were killed along with 10 fighters. Seven soldiers were wounded.

Soldiers seized 12 high-powered firearms, including five M16 rifles, said the army statement released late Monday.

The restive south of the Philippines is home to a decades-old Muslim separatist insurgency and to extremist gangs that have declared allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Manila signed a peace pact with the nation's largest rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, in 2014, ending their deadly armed rebellion.

But smaller bands of Muslim fighters opposed to the peace deal remain. Communist rebels also operate in the region.

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BANGSAMORO ISLAMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS

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