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73 Moro Rebels Dead in Military Offensive

The ongoing military offensive against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in North Cotabato and Maguindanao has claimed the lives of 73 Moro rebels, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said Monday.

Lt. Col. Harold M. Cabunoc, AFP public affairs office chief, said in a press briefing that the series of clashes, which commenced last month, also resulted to 33 wounded and four captured on the BIFF side.

Among the 73 fatalities, one was described as “foreign-looking” and believed to be among the five international terrorists being coddled by BIFF splinter group Islamic Justice Movement led by Mohammad Ali Tambako.

AFP Spokesman Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala said the corpse bore resemblance to one of the United States’ “most wanted” terror suspects.

Kakilala, however, refused to identify the slain suspect.

Meanwhile, Cabunoc said the latest clash in Pusao, Mamasapano in Maguindanao left four soldiers dead and 29 others wounded.

One of the slain government troops is a young officer identified as 1st Lt. Rommel Auman, executive officer of the 6th Scout Ranger Company.