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AFP aids MILF members slain in Basilan clash

Roel Pareño - The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The military extended financial assistance to members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who were killed in an encounter with soldiers in Basilan last week.

The two-day clash left seven MILF rebels and three soldiers dead. Seventeen other government troopers were wounded.

The gunfight reportedly erupted on Nov. 8 in Barangay Ulitan in Ungkaya Pukan when a soldier was hit by sniper fire.

The families of the slain MILF members received assistance from the Joint Task Force Basilan during a meeting held at the 18th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Barangay Campo Uno in Lamitan City.

Task force commander Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao parliament member Dan Asnawie, concurrent commander of the MILF 114th Base Command in Basilan, handed over the cash assistance to the families of the slain MILF members.

Gobway said the incident proved the importance of peace in the community. “No one wins in the war, it just makes our life miserable,” he said.

The military beefed up its presence in the area after it was identified as a sanctuary of Abu Sayyaf bandits and other lawless elements.                     

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