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Thousands flee Philippine air strikes

10-26-2011 14:43 BJT

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Military launches airstrike on MILF rebels in S Philippines 
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Philippine Air Force (PAF) bomber planes dropped bombs as the military launched airstrike on the rebels of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) encampment in a town of Zamboanga Sibugay province, the military said on Monday.

The military said the aerial attack was part of the offensive against the rebels responsible for last week's spate of attacks on the military and police forces which left close to dozen fatalities in the Zamboanga and Lanao peninsula alone.

Lt. Col. Randolf Cabangbang, regional spokesman of Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said the air raids were directed at the fortified positions of the rebels led by fugitive MILF commanders Wanning Abdusalam, Putot and Ogis Jakaria and undetermined number of armed followers.

He said the strike was concentrated in the rebels' encampment in the village of Labatan, Payao town.

It was not immediately known about the result of casualty in the aerial assault that started about 10a.m Monday where the PAF utilized two OV-10 Broncho bomber planes.

The troops from the 102nd Army Brigade under Col. Santiago Baluyot were slowly closing in on the encampment which was fortified with several machinegun nests and bunkers.

The military said no civilians were reported in the area as the villagers have already evacuated prior to the military operations.

The villagers of Labatan have earlier manifested through a resolution seeking the military to flush out the rebels from establishing camp in their village.


Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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