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Philippine rebels says new clash unrelated to pact

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MANILA » The largest Muslim rebel group in the Philippines says a new clash between some of its fighters and a breakaway faction was sparked by a clan feud and is unrelated to a recently signed peace pact opposed by the faction.

Dozens of gunmen from the main Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the breakaway Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement clashed Thursday in a village in Mamasapano town in southern Maguindanao province, killing two combatants and wounding four others.

A spokesman of the main rebel group, Von al Haq, said Sunday it is taking steps to pacify the warring rebels and prevent an escalation.

The main group signed a preliminary peace pact with the government on Oct. 15. The breakaway rebels ignored the accord and vowed to continue fighting.

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