Results tagged “Philippines”
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The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross made another appeal to Abu Sayyaf hostage takers to release three Red Cross volunteers who were abducted and are held on Jolo island. A senator argued that Abu Sayyaf was testing the government and that the military should not withdraw its forces from Jolo island.
Twenty MILF fighters and seven soldiers were killed in fierce fighting near the town of Mamasapan. The fighting broke out after a force of 60 MILF fighters ambushed a military patrol. The battle took place only ten kilometers from the provincial capital where President Gloria Arroyo was visiting.
Three MILF fighters and an Army solider were killed during a battle in Sultan Kudarat province in Mindanao. Thirty-three Filipino seamen were siezed by Pirates off Somalia during two separate hijackings.
Pirates who kidnapped three school teachers in January turned over the hostages to Abu Sayyaf in Basilan province. The International Committee of the Red Cross appealed to the government to withdraw troops from Abu Sayyaf positions in order to ensure the safety of three captured Red Cross workers.
Abu Sayyaf threatened to behead one of three Red Cross hostages if the military did not withdraw troops from part of Jolo Island. The commanding general of the Army visited soldiers in western Mindanao to boost morale.
Under intense public criticism, the military halted operations against Abu Sayyaf hostage-takers on Jolo Island after a week-long offensive aimed at freeing three Red Cross hostages failed. A senator asked other politicians to stay out of negotiations for the release of the hostages.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair met with President Arroyo to discuss the resumption of peace talks with MILF while the military warned of the possibility of further bombings conducted by MILF in Mindanao. Seventeen Filipino seamen were reported captured by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front was blamed for bomb attacks on a market and a bus company in North Cotabato province, injuring at least seven and damaging two buses. The EU offered to mediate peace talks between the Philippine government and MILF insurgents.
Hope for the swift release of a Red Cross worker held captive by Abu Sayaff has faded, despite movement of Philippine troops away from Abu Sayaff positions. A Philippine government panel is preparing for the continuance of peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The head of the Philippine Red Cross announced that he expects Abu Sayaff kidnappers will honor an agreement to free one of three employees held hostage. The Philippine Army will loosen its encirclement of the kidnappers on Jolo island to allow for negotiation.
For the second day in a row, Philippine marines battled Abu Sayaff terrorists holding three Red Cross workers hostage on Jolo island. At least six terrorists have been killed and 19 marines have been wounded. The fate of the hostages was uncertain.
One day after Philippine President Macapagal-Arroyo announced the intention to resume peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Front (MILF), intense fighting erupted between the Army and the MILF on the island of Mindanao. Two Filipino soldiers were wounded, along with an undetermined number of insurgent causalities.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front killed nine people during attacks on villagers in the provinces of Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat on Christmas eve, and continued raids on Christmas day. MILF refused to change its negotiating position or representatives, but demanded a cabinet-level official head the peace panel.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines said the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has merged with Abu Sayyaf in Basilan. A cease-fire committee found no evidence MILF-Abu Sayyaf merger in Basilan. MILF fighters killed three people and kidnapped three more in a village in Basilan.