Philippine troops drive away armed rebels from public market

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COTABATO, Philippines (AP) — Dozens of Muslim militants have occupied a public market in the southern Philippines before fleeing after a tense standoff with government forces. A military spokesman says the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters did not take any hostage or put up resistance when army troops and police took positions at dawn Saturday near the public market in the farming town of Datu Paglas. There are no immediate reports of casualties. The rebel group broke off from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the largest Muslim rebel group in the south, after it entered into peace talks and later signed a Muslim autonomy deal with the government in 2014. The breakaway guerrillas have continued sporadic attacks and bombings, with some aligning themselves with the Islamic State group.

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