Philippine military bombs southern Muslim rebels
Military forces in the Philippines have carried out their first air strikes for three years on separatist rebels in the south of the country.
Two military aircraft launched the attacks in Zamboanga province.
The raids follow a recent wave of violence in the region in which 35 people have died
Philippine President Benigno Aquino is under pressure to end a ceasefire with the rebels, but says he wants to find a peaceful solution.
The rebels, from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), are known to be hiding in the area which was attacked by the military.
However, army officials say they were only targeting a renegade faction of the group.
“I would like to stress the rebels we are after are operating outside the control of the MILF leadership,” a military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang told the AFP news agency.
The security forces say they have been surrounding the faction in a remote village for several days.
“About 100 heavily armed bandits are holed up in their bunkers and running trenches,” said another army spokesman, Major Harold Cabunoc. [read more…]