Results tagged “Philippines”
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Philippines: Mindanao Muddle
Troops killed five Abu Sayyaf fighters in Basilan, including commander Abdul Karim Jamjali. The US government announced it was conditioning some aid on solving unsolved political killings. A bank director from Jeddah vanished in Sulu.
A Philippine Special Forces Company killed an Abu Sayyaf operative in Basilan. Investigators of the Manila mall blast requested a week to finish their work, while negligence remained high on the list of suspected causes. Efforts to reform madrassas in the Philippines continue. USAID is providing computer courses in Mindanao.
The government launched a new "humanitarian offensive" in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. The United States vowed to increase its contribution to such programs as part of a $60 million budget for aid to the Philippines. The amount was $14 million higher than that requested by the US State Department. Meanwhile, a new book published with a grant from USAID tracks clan conflict in Mindanao and the problems it creates for peace efforts.
The Philippine National Police said it was unlikely the blast at a mall in Manila's financial district was caused by a terrorist attack. Explosives have not been detected at the site, and a bomb crater and fragments have not been found. The theory is a gas leak caused the explosion, but the investigation is ongoing.
The Rajah Sulayman Movement (RSM), a terrorist group of Christian converts to Islam, claimed responsibility for the Makati bomb attack. Security officials doubt the RSM's claim. Abu Sayyaf denied involvement in the bombing.
A bomb blast at mall in Makati City killed eight and wounded 129. Police indicated high explosives were likely used in the bombing, while unnamed police sources said traces of C4 were discovered at the site. The government strongly denied claims that the bombing was conducted to give the government an excuse to impose martial law.