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Military says MILF attacks outpost; rebels deny claim

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By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:48:00 07/22/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The military accused fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) of attacking an Army militia outpost in North Cotabato province Tuesday, but the rebels denied the claims.

At around 11:45 a.m., the alleged rebels opened fire at a Civilian Volunteers Organization (CVO) outpost in Bualan village, Pikit town, sparking a sporadic exchange of gunfire, said Major Armand Rico, information officer of the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom).

But MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu denied their forces were involved in the attack.

The MILF’s 108th Base Command is based in North Cotabato.

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the encounter, which came even as government and MILF officials expressed hope skirmishes in Central Mindanao would stop after a breakthrough in peace talks was reached last week.

“With respect to MILF action in the area, wala talaga [there is none]. We have effectively stopped the skirmishes with the development in the peace talks. There is no possibility that we are involved, if there is such harassment,” Kabalu said in a phone interview.

“Maganda na sana development sa peace talks [The development in the peace talks is good]. We believe this is an isolated case. There are reports that these are alleged MILF rebels, but this could also be a redo or family feud,” Rico said in a phone interview.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

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Written by joelguinto

TueUTC2008-07-22T08:13:26+00:00UTC07bUTCTue, 22 Jul 2008 08:13:26 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am07

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