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Philippine military extends operations against Moro rebels.

MANyLA (CyHAN)- The Philippine military said Thursday it is extending operations against the rebel group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in southern Philippines for 72 hours until Feb. 1.

This came after the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) approved the military's request for an extension. AHJAG is a joint effort of the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that seeks to stop lawless elements from taking refuge in or near MILF communities.

Col. Dickson Hermoso, spokesman of the Philippine Army's 6th Infantry Division, said the military operation against the BIFF was supposed to have concluded on Wednesday.

"Fighting is dragging as troops are unfamiliar with the terrain and we do not want to hit civilian targets," said Hermoso.

He said that some members of the MILF and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) have aided the BIFF. But Hermoso said their participation is not sanctioned by their leaders and that they merely wanted to help their relatives in the BIFF.

The clashes between government security forces and the BIFF have resulted in the death of 40 rebels.

The BIFF is a rogue group that broke away from the MILF in December 2010. The group has carried out many deadly attacks in recent months in a bid to derail the peace negotiations between the MILF and the Philippine government. (Cihan/Xinhua)

CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Jan 30, 2014
Words:241
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