Philippine soldiers killed 13 Moro Muslims and wounded dozens in heavy fighting in Moro on Friday, an army spokesman said.
Troops' attacks across oil and gas-rich marshlands and nearby hills on the southern island of Mindanao has displaced more than 50,000 families.
Five soldiers were also wounded when troops clashed for two hours with Muslim fighters from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) near Guindulungan town in Maguindanao province.
"Our artillery fire scored direct hits, killing 13," Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Ponce told reporters, adding that helicopters and warplanes were sent.He also said dozens of MILF members were also wounded.
Ponce said that the fighters "are getting desperate." because army blocked the food and basic needs to Moros. "They are getting hungry and are raiding villages for food."
The government adopted stricter controls over management of food, medicines and other relief supplies after troops seized about tonnes of rice being spirited out from a camp for displaced people on Mindanao.
After four decades of armed conflict between the Filipino state and the Moro Muslims, the two parties agreed to sign an agreement that would end the conflict. However, the supreme court of the Philippine declared the agreement illegal on August 4, which caused the conflict to resume.
The biggest new internal displacement of people last year was in Muslim region in Philippine, where 600,000 fled fighting with government and MILF in the region, a United Nations-backed report said.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Haziran 2009, 12:30