Philippines' Aquino vows to crush 'spoiler' rebels

January 30, 2014
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MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino vowed Wednesday to crush militants opposed to an imminent deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), as the death toll from a military assault rose to 38, AFP reported.

The government wrapped up peace talks with the MILF on Saturday before quickly deploying troops against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

"The armed forces ... (are) going on these operations to prevent lawless activities from inflicting harm on our population, and to seriously degrade their abilities to again act as (peace) spoilers," Aquino told reporters.

Local military spokesman Col. Dickson Hermoso said soldiers recovered the bodies of 37 BIFF members killed in three days of fighting.

One soldier was also killed and seven others wounded, Hermoso told reporters.

Three civilians were also hurt in the violence.

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