In this photo taken February 28, 2015 Philippine soldiers check ammunition in Maguindanao, Southern Philippines during an offensive operation against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. AFP PHOTO/MARK NAVALES
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A monthlong Philippine offensive against hard-line Muslim rebels ended Monday after 139 insurgents were killed, 12 others were captured and bomb-making strongholds were seized by troops, the military chief said.In a final gunbattle Sunday, four soldiers and 16 insurgents were killed, including a rebel commander, the military said.Government forces launched the assaults Feb. 25 against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement after its fighters attacked villages and were implicated in the killings in January of 44 police anti-terror commandos in the outskirts of Maguindanao's Mamasapano town.Catapang cited intelligence and accounts from troops and villagers for the rebel death toll.
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