Philippine officials meet Muslim rebels

Philippine government representatives met with Muslim rebels Sunday in an effort to halt recent fighting between army troops and guerrillas in the country's south, officials said. Ground and air attacks on rebel positions raged for two days in Midsayap town in Cotabato province before a government-rebel committee intervened and eased the fighting on Saturday, presidential peace talks adviser Jesus Dureza said. At least three guerrillas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and a pro-government militiaman have died in the clashes, according to Lt. Col. Julieto Ando, a spokesman for the army's 6th Infantry Division. Government officials and MILF leaders met Sunday to discuss ways of disengaging the combatants and preventing further clashes, Dureza said.