Philippine Troops Attack Amid Ramadan Standoff

KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia — Philippine troops have launched surprise attacks on rebel strongholds in the country’s south as authorities brace themselves for an upsurge in violence expected once Ramadan is over. Military officials claimed at least 25 rebels were killed in weekend fighting after government troops went on the offensive in the rebel-held territory. Wire services also reported one government soldier was killed. However, independent sources said the fighting was of a much lower intensity than was seen in August, when ferocious rebel attacks left scores dead and caused 160,000 people to flee their homes as Christian villages were torched. […]

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