MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine military says it has launched an offensive against a breakaway Muslim rebel group that opposes a peace deal and has claimed responsibility for a bomb attack that wounded seven soldiers in the country's south.
Regional army spokesman Col. Dickson Hermoso said there was "intense fighting" early Saturday between troops and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement in North Cotabato province's Aleosan township.
The rebel group set off a roadside bomb that wounded seven soldiers on Wednesday and warned of more attacks. It broke away from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has signed a preliminary peace accord with the government.
A similar offensive has been launched earlier against the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf in Basilan province farther south to stop the militants from manufacturing bombs for attacks.
Created: Sat, 10 Aug 2013 03:14:46 EST
Updated: Sat, 10 Aug 2013 03:14:46 EST