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New Muslim rebel attack in Philippines

Fresh fighting has broken out in the southern Philippines as Muslim guerrillas attacked a military outpost near southern city of Zamboanga, according to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 officials.

Soldiers repulsed the attack on the outskirts of Curuan district, capturing a rifle and a uniform belonging to the separatist sep·a·ra·tist  
n.
1. One who secedes or advocates separation, especially from an established church; a sectarian or separationist.

2.
 Moro Islamic Liberation Front Noun 1. Moro Islamic Liberation Front - a terrorist group in the southern Philippines formed in 1977 to establish an independent Islamic state for the Moros; have clashed with troops at United States bases  (MILF MILF Moro Islamic Liberation Front (Muslim group in the Philippines)
MILF Many Islands, Low Fares (Spirit Airlines promotion)
MILF Mother I'd Like to Find
), said anti-terror task force commander Colonel Santiago Baluyot.

They also found bloodstains on the attackers' route of retreat and soldiers reported seeing gunmen dragging the bodies of their comrades away as they fled to the nearby mountains, he added.

"We got information (Friday) night -- intelligence reports that there was a plan by lawless elements to attack our detachments in the area," he said.

"The vigilance of the people helped us a lot," the colonel said, adding that military forces suffered no casualties.

The motive for the attack was not clear but MILF forces have staged attacks on government outposts in the area before.

The fighting comes amid renewed calls by the government for the MILF to resume peace talks that stalled last August.

The 12,000-strong MILF has been fighting to set up an Islamic state The term Islamic state refers to groups that have adopted Islam as their primary faith. Specifically:
  • A Caliphate in Sunni Islam
  • An Imamah in Shia Islam
  • A Wilayat al-Faqih for the Shia in the absence of an Imamah
 in the southern third of this largely Christian Southeast Asian nation Noun 1. Asian nation - any one of the nations occupying the Asian continent
Asian country

country, land, state - the territory occupied by a nation; "he returned to the land of his birth"; "he visited several European countries"
 for more than three decades.

The group signed a ceasefire with the government in 2003 to negotiate peace but this was broken in August after the Supreme Court suspended a draft accord with the MILF and renegade commanders of the group staged attacks on civilian communities, displacing over half a million people.

However the Philippines' chief negotiator on Tuesday called on the MILF to return to the negotiating table to end six months of large-scale hostilities.
Copyright 2009 AFP Asian Edition
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Author:AFP
Publication:AFP Asian Edition
Date:Feb 21, 2009
Words:272
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