Filipino rebels suspend 3 commanders over clash

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The largest Muslim rebel group in the Philippines says it has suspended three key commanders involved in an October clash that killed 19 soldiers and endangered a yearslong cease-fire.

Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebel leader Mohagher Iqbal said Thursday that the three commanders on southern Basilan island were suspended for three months after an investigation by Malaysian-led peace monitors found they violated a cease-fire accord with the government.

Iqbal says the probe showed government troops also violated the truce.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin says the punishment was light but acknowledges that the rebels made a mistake.

The clash took place Oct. 18 as army troops attempted to arrest a rebel commander.

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