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Bloody Battle in Maguindanao
« on: March 28, 2009, 06:59:49 PM »
Muslim rebels and the army have fought an eight-hour battle in the southern Philippines, leaving 20 insurgents and seven soldiers dead, the military says.

Lt Col Jonathan Ponce said the army attacked rebels from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to stop them from ransacking nearby villages.

The MILF blamed the army for the battle, on Mindanao island.

Hundreds have died and many thousands have been displaced on Mindanao since August, when peace talks foundered.

The MILF, the largest of the country's numerous separatist groups, has been fighting for an independent homeland for decades.

'Creating confusion'

Lt Col Ponce described a long and bloody battle with a group of 80 rebels in Maguindanao province.

"Some bodies were hanging on treetops. They got hit by our artillery shelling. But we lost seven men and five were also wounded," he said. - BBC

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