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Philippine police clash with Muslim rebels in south, at least 30 dead

At least 30 people were killed in heavy fighting between police and Muslim rebels in the Philippines on Sunday, military and local officials said, threatening a year-old peace agreement and shattering a ceasefire that held for three years. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the largest rebel group in the Philippine south, accepted an autonomy offer in March 2014 from the government, ending 45 years of conflict in which 120,000 people were killed and 2 million displaced. Under the deal, brokered by Malaysia, the Moro rebels were to surrender their weapons and disband after the government had set up a new autonomous government in the south and granted the Muslim minority wider economic and political power. Army sources said police had entered a Muslim community where MILF and its rival faction, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, are believed to be operating.

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