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Philippine Army says nine rebels killed

COTABATO: Philippine troops repulsed a series of attacks by a breakaway Muslim insurgent group in the country’s south that left nine rebels dead and two soldiers wounded, the army said Friday.
The series of skirmishes occurred around several small military outposts near the rural town of Pikit between Tuesday and Thursday, local military spokesman Captain Antonio Bulao told AFP.
Nine members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters were killed in the fighting, Bulao said, citing intelligence reports.
The rebel faction’s spokesman, Abu Misri, confirmed that its forces were involved in the fighting, but denied that it sustained casualties.
Bulao said two soldiers were wounded in the fighting.
The rebel faction split off from the main Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, after the MILF entered into peace talks with the government to end decades of conflict that have claimed 150,000 lives.