Results tagged “Philippines”
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The National Police announced that they were pursuing 44 Abu Sayyaf members who were involved in the 2001 abduction of tourists from a resort in Palawan and the 2000 abduction of civilians in Basilan. President Arroyo stated that Libya's Qadaffi Foundation may invest in economic development in Mindanao.
Madhatta Haipe, an Abu Sayyaf terrorist who kidnapped American tourists in South Cotabato province in 1995, appeared before a federal court in Washington and was ordered held without bail. An IED planted by Abu Sayyaf wounded two Army engineers as they were on the way to a local mosque to pray in Sulu province. The military deployed an additional battalion to pursue Abu Sayyaf and rogue elements of MILF in Basilan province.
Police filed murder charges against 13 Abu Sayyaf and Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters in connection with the Aug. 12 battle with government forces that left 20 Marines and three soldiers dead. Despite the truce with MILF, police continue to hunt for three commanders who are wanted for attacks on civilian communities in Basilan and Sulu provinces. Security forces also continue to hunt for Abu Sayyaf terrorists throughout the southern Philippines.
Seven Moro National Liberation Front fighters were killed when the military assaulted a school on the tiny island of Marabon, near the island of Palawan. One soldier was wounded and the military continued to search for MNLF fighters who escaped. MILF announced that it will not assist the government in operations against the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, which President Arroyo has pledged to destroy.
Three Abu Sayyaf gunmen fired at two Air Force helicopters in Basilan province, damaging a helicopter carrying three journalists. The military is shipping more ammunition and other supplies to Mindanao to bolster the military as it continues to press for the destruction of Abu Sayyaf.
At least 31 Abu Sayyaf militants and 23 soldiers have been killed in intense combat in Basilan province as government troops sustained a massive offensive against terrorist encampments in the remote jungle. The military began the offensive against Abu Sayyaf last month, after Italian Red Cross worker Antonio Vagni was rescued from captivity.
In an early morning raid by the military on an Abu Sayyaf jungle encampment, 10 fighters were killed and an arsenal of improvised explosive devices was discovered and detonated. Ten other Abu Sayyaf gunmen were killed in a separate raid in Basilan province. Over 500 Army soldiers, marines, and police are engaged in an offensive in Basilan, targeting Abu Sayyaf leaders Khair Mundus and Furuji Indama.
Despite the truce with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, an errant shell fired by a military unit that was intended for MILF rebels landed near a school, wounding nine people, including eight children. Several members of the Organization of Islamic States, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, have agreed to join the peace process between MILF and the Philippine government.
A five-year-old boy who was kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf on July 27 in Basilan province was rescued by Marines and reunited with his parents. Formal peace talks between the government and MILF will commence on August 18 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. President Arroyo pledged in her State of the Union Address last week to sign a peace deal with MILF before her term ends in June 2010.
President Obama and President Arroyo discussed US-Philippine relations at the White House, including their mutual commitment to the fight against terrorism in the southern Philippines. In Basilan province, a civilian security volunteer was killed in an ambush by Moro Islamic Liberation Front gunmen only two kilometers outside a Philippine Marine outpost.
Four Abu Sayyaf members surrendered directly to Deputy National Security Adviser Luis Singson in Sulu province; they were rushed back to Manila on board the cabinet member's private plane. President Arroyo stated that terrorist issues will be on the agenda when she travels to Washington to meet with President Obama later this week.