Philippines: January 9, 2005


Despite the cease fire with the MILF, clashes continue. Today, a group of 60 MILF fighters, angered at army operations against bandits with MILF connections, got into a fight with the army. Several hours of shooting left 13 rebels and eight soldiers dead. The leader of the MILF group involved, has a cousin, killed a few days earlier by the army, who was a member of a kidnapping gang. It is believed that the MILF men were out for revenge. This mixing of separatist groups and  bandits is quite common, and an ongoing cause of trouble in the southern Moslem areas. 


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