2 rebels killed in Philippine offensive on Bangsamoro rebel group
MANILA (AP) - At least two rebels were killed and two soldiers were wounded during "intense fighting" early on Saturday, said Colonel Dickson Hermoso of the Philippine Army's 6th Infantry Division, as the Philipppne military launched an offensive on Saturday against a breakaway Muslim rebel group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement in North Cotabato province's Aleosan township, which opposes a peace deal and has claimed responsibility for a recent bomb attack that wounded seven soldiers in the country's volatile south.
The army pounded the rebels with mortar and cannon fire to prevent them from advancing and taking control of a key highway, he said.
The rebel group set off a roadside bomb on Wednesday in nearby Maguindanao province, wounding seven soldiers, and warned of more attacks. It broke away from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has signed a preliminary peace accord with the government.
The military said another roadside bomb believed to have been planted by the group exploded early Saturday in another town in Maguindanao. There were no casualties. A second homemade bomb was found and safely detonated in the same area.