15 killed in clash in southern Philippines

October 27th, 2008 - 9:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Manila, Oct 27 (DPA) One soldier and 14 Muslim rebels were killed Monday in a clash in southern Philippines, a military spokesman said.Major Randolph Cabangbang said the fighting erupted when soldiers encountered Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao province, 960 km south of Manila.

Cabangbang said four soldiers and four MILF rebels were also wounded in the fighting that lasted for more than two hours.

Eight of the dead rebels have been identified, Cabangbang said.

Clashes between government troops and MILF rebels have escalated in August after the Supreme Court stopped a territory deal that would have expanded the existing autonomous Muslim region in Mindanao Island.

More than 200 people have been killed and more than 500,000 displaced in subsequent clashes.

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