SOLYMONE BLOG

PHILIPPINE ARM FORCES DISPLACED THOUSANDS RESIDENTS


ZAMBOANGA, Philippines - About 10,000 residents have been displaced by government bomb attacks that targeted towns of Alicia, Payao, and Talusan towns in Zamboanga Sibugay.
They were affected by bomb attacks that targeted Wahing Abdul Salam, a newly identified renegade leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Wahing Abdul Salam a renegade group leader was blamed for kidnappings and ambushes that killed eight soldiers and policemen and identified as behind the kidnapping of Fr Giancarlo Bossi.

  • According to military source, they are assisting the evacuation of 10,000 residents in areas targeted by the bombings, adding that government forces had intensified their attacks because of reports Abdul Salam's group may take over towns, including municipal halls, police stations and military detachment.
  • Last Thursday in Zamboanga Sibugay in the south, a second wave of clashes that initially began in nearby Al Barka Basilan where 19 soldiers were killed, spread to other areas resulting in the deaths of 55 people, including 11 rebels, officials said.
  • According to Western Mindanao Command spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Randy Cabangbang, three men of Wahing Abdul Salam had been captured and are in the custody of the police.
  • Cabangbang is hoping to capture Abdul Salam soon. However, the terrain provide difficulty for the government arm forces to penetrate the area.
  • "We are doing an all-out war against lawless elements. This has nothing to do with the MILF organisation. We have told the MILF about this operation. We are not targeting the MILF's so-called area of temporary stay or ATS, designated during initial peace talks between the government and the MILF," Cabangbang explained.
The government has asked the MILF to disown Abdul Salam so he can be arrested despite the ceasefire agreement signed by the government and the MILF in 2003, said Cabangbang, adding: "He is destroying the image of the MILF. He has already dug in with firearms."
Abdul Salam's group was also blamed for the occupation of two schools by 200 men in last Saturday.

Source: Agency
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