Results tagged “Philippines”
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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.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front announced that it will not return to peace talks with the government unless a mediator is found, although the chief negotiator for MILF ordered his fighters to halt hostilities beginning this Saturday. Three people, including an infant, were killed when Abu Sayyaf terrorists gunned them down while they were riding on a motorcycle in Basilan province.
President Arroyo ordered the military to halt its offensives against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, to set the stage for the resumption of peace talks for the first time since last year. The military will continue to hunt down rogue MILF commanders, and has transferred hundreds of troops for a new offensive against Abu Sayyaf in Basilan and Jolo island.
A bomb blast at an outpost in Central Mindanao killed a soldier; 4 policemen were wounded in an ambush when they responded to the attack. A grenade was also thrown into a grocery store in Cotabato City, wounding 7 people. On Sunday, Philippine troops rescued 5 workers who were kidnapped last Wednesday by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
In southern Basilan province, Marines and security forces rescued two fishermen who were captured by Abu Sayyaf terrorists and held for over three months. Red Cross worker Eugenio Vagni flew home to Italy after six months of captivity by Abu Sayyaf.
Abu Sayyaf released Italian Red Cross worker Eugenio Vagni. The military agreed to exchange for Vagni two captured wives and the children of senior Abu Sayyaf leader Albadar Parad. On Sunday, President Arroyo will meet with the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency to discuss terrorism issues.
Four separate explosions in Mindanao killed 6 people and wounded 56, the deadliest of which occurred outside a Catholic church in Sulu province. The government dispatched 200 additional police to Lligian City, and ordered the military on full alert until President Arroyo's State of the Union Address on July 27.
A bomb packed with nails exploded outside a Roman Catholic cathedral in Cotabato City, killing five people and wounding 30 during a mass presided over by an archbishop. The Pope condemned the attack; President Arroyo also ordered an anti-terrorism task force dispatched to Catabato City to hunt down those responsible.
A bomb planted by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front exploded prematurely outside a coffee shop in Maguindanao province, killing one terrorist and wounding 15 civilians. Muhammad Ameen, chairman of MILF, announced that he believed the government was suspending peace negotiations as a counterinsurgency tactic.
Abu Sayyaf fighters killed seven policemen during an ambush in the town of Sumisip in Basilan province. Abu Sayyaf fighters also killed two Army engineers assigned to construct schools in the town of in Tipo-Tipo in Basilan.
Four policemen and a woman were wounded when Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters fired mortars at a military unit in Sultan Kudarat province. At least 20 MILF fighters attacked a road-building construction site in Maguindanao, killing a worker and wounding four other civilians. The military announced that General Ben Dolorfino, a Muslim convert, was appointed to command the Philippine Armed Forces in Western Mindanao.
Four Abu Sayyaf fighters were killed and two Marines were wounded in intense fighting in Sulu province. On Saturday, at least 10 Moro Islamic Liberation Front insurgents were killed and 20 wounded in Maguindanao. Although the Phillippine constitution prohibits the participation of foreign troops in combat operations, US military commanders declared that their primary mission in the Philippines is to deny terrorists sanctuary, and they pledged further intelligence-sharing.
Marines assaulted an outpost of Abu Sayyaf near Parang on Jolo island, killing four terrorists and forcing them deeper into the jungle. The military has shifted tactics against Abu Sayyaf, focusing on a campaign of attrition to aggressively reduce their fighting capacity.