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Zamboanga Sibugay: 3 Soldiers, 3 Cops Die in Zamboanga Sibugay Attacks

Three soldiers and three policemen died in separate attacks in Zamboanga Sibugay province Thursday.

Initial report said the gunmen waylaid a convoy of the 102nd Brigade in Alicia town around 8 p.m.

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The report said 10 soldiers came from other unit stations to deliver food and clothing and were heading for their camp when they were attacked.

The ambushed, believed to be perpetrated by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), left three soldiers dead, six others injured and one missing in action.

Armed men also reportedly attacked a police patrol car in Kabasalan town.

The incident left three policemen dead and two others wounded.

On Tuesday, the MILF clashed with government forces in Sitio Bakisong, Cambug village, Al-Barka town in Basilan.

The firefight killed 25 combatants -- 19 soldiers and six rebels.

Troops from the Army's 13th and 19th Special Forces Company were investigating reports of rebel incursions in the area when they encountered the rebels.

The 11,000-strong MILF has waged a bloody insurgency for self-rule in the southern Mindanao region, the homeland of minority Muslims in the predominantly Roman Catholic country.

The conflict has killed more than 120,000 people and stunted development of the resource-rich Mindanao region.

Malaysian-brokered peace talks between the rebels and the government received a major boost in August when President Benigno Aquino III met rebel chairman Al Haj Murad Ibrahim in Tokyo to bolster the negotiations.

The rebels, however, rejected a government proposal for Muslim autonomy when talks resumed a few weeks later in Malaysia but they said they will continue with the talks.

- Source