49 killed in Maguindanao clash – ARMM police
MANILA, Philippines – Nearly 50 bodies were recovered by authorities in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao province, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Police said Monday.
ARMM Police officer-in-charge Senior Superintendent Noel Armilla, however, said they have yet to confirm if all 49 fatalities belonged to the elite Special Action Forces of the Philippine National Police.
In a text message to reporters, police said 49 were reportedly killed in a day-long firefight between policemen and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Barangay (village) Tukalanipao on Sunday.
“Cadavers were brought to 6th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army Headquarters for proper disposition,” the report added.
After honoring the fallen cops in Camp Crame, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina flew to Maguindanao to meet with Cabinet secretaries and military officials to look into the deadly incident.
It was earlier reported that members of the SAF commandos, who were after a Malaysian Jemaah Islamiyah leader and a bomb-expert, ventured into an MILF camp, sparking a firefight.
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