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Posts Tagged ‘Moro Islamic Liberation Front’

Los Angeles Times

By JOHN M. GLIONNA

Zamboanga City is on the front lines of the Philippines’ fight against terrorists, located in the troubled south where Muslim militants have been battling troops and hitting civilian targets.

Reporting from Zamboanga City, Philippines — Restaurant owner Lyra Quitay is blind in one eye. Her arms, chest and legs bear painful black scars and her right hand is so gnarled that it resembles a claw when she signs her name.

In October 2001, a terrorist’s bomb ripped through the claustrophobic downtown market where Quitay runs a tiny kitchen, instantly killing her security guard and blowing a hole in her life.

The guard had gone to investigate an abandoned duck egg cart; when he opened the lid on a pot, it exploded — ripping off his head and leaving Quitay with injuries so severe that she still wakes up crying at night. (more…)

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Reuters

By MANNY MOGATO

MANILA, July 25 (Reuters) – The Philippines’ largest Muslim rebel group ordered its armed units to halt attacks on military targets on Saturday, a top guerrilla leader said, paving the way for the revival of peace talks stalled since August 2008.

“Effective today, we are suspending our military actions in all areas where our armed units are operating,” Mohaqher Iqbal, head of the rebels’ peace panel, told Reuters by telephone from a guerrilla base on the southern island of Mindanao.

On Thursday, the government ordered a unilateral truce in the south of the mainly Roman Catholic country to convince the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to return to negotiations to end 40 years of conflict that has killed 120,000 people. (more…)

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By IRIN

MANILA, 24 July 2009 (IRIN) – In a bid to improve conditions for peace talks and the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Mindanao, the Philippines government announced a unilateral ceasefire effective at midnight on 23 July.

The island has witnessed an upsurge in conflict between government forces and the 12,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who have been fighting for an independent Islamic state on the island for decades, after a peace deal collapsed last August.

According to President Gloria Arroyo’s chief aide, Eduarto Ermita, the suspension of fighting would “advance stability and peace in the conflict-affected areas”.

“The AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] shall revert to the active defence mode as provided for in the guidelines on the primacy of the peace process,” Ermita said.

Rafael Seguis, chairman of the government’s peace negotiating panel with the MILF, said the decision would stop the humanitarian situation from further deteriorating.

“Because the hostilities have affected innocent civilians and the mounting number of IDPs, the president is very concerned,” Seguis said, adding that he had recently visited camps in Maguindanao Province – scene of the heaviest fighting in recent weeks – and was appalled by the “deplorable” condition of the IDPs. (more…)

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Business World

By CARMELITO Q. FRANCISCO

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is proposing an agreement with the government to protect civilians affected by the armed conflict in Mindanao.

In a phone interview, Mohagher Iqbal, MILF chief negotiator, said the agreement would provide guidelines on guaranteeing civilian safety.

“The situation of the evacuees is of concern to everyone. We have more than 600,000 displaced persons that are severely affected by the armed conflict,” he said.

The proposal came after an announcement by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when she visited Central Mindanao on Friday that negotiations with the MILF would “take place very soon.” (more…)

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Reuters

By MANNY MOGATO
MANILA, July 7 (Reuters) – Two bombs exploded in two restive areas in the southern Philippines on Tuesday, killing two people and wounding dozens, officials said, prompting authorities to step up security around state offices in the capital Manila.

The attacks in Mindanao and Jolo islands will likely hurt efforts to revive peace talks between the government and rebel Muslim groups stalled since August 2008.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but officials blamed Muslim rebels fighting for the region’s secession from mainly Christian Philippines. (more…)

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Reuters

By MANNY MOGATO

MANILA, July 5 (Reuters) – A bomb exploded outside a church in the southern Philippines during Sunday morning mass, killing five people and wounding 45, an army spokesman said.

Rogue Muslim rebels were suspected of placing the bomb near a food stall outside the church in Cotabato City, said Colonel Jonathan Ponce. The device was detonated when an army truck was passing, he added.

“This is the handiwork of the rogue members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF),” Ponce told reporters.

“The rebels are getting desperate and they are no longer choosing their targets. They are now attacking even places of worship.”

A woman selling roast pork was killed on the spot while four others, including a soldier and a three-year-old boy, died in a nearby hospital. Five soldiers were among those wounded, Ponce said. (more…)

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By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

COTABATO, Philippines (AFP) — Bombs have ripped through a cafe in the southern Philippines, killing three people and wounding 15, the military and witnesses have said.

The three dead included a man seen placing one of the devices in a garbage bin at a coffee shop near the town of Datu Saudi Ampatuan on Monday, an overwhelmingly Muslim section of Mindanao island, one witness said, quoting local police.

“(One) bomb exploded prematurely. Among those killed was the bomb courier,” said Major Randolph Cabangbang, military spokesman for the region.

He blamed a hardline Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) faction for the attack, which he said also injured 15 civilians. (more…)

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