Thursday, August 9, 2007

9 Pinoy Troops Killed

Restiveness in the Phils too?

Nine soldiers killed in Philippines ambush

Muslim extremists killed nine soldiers, and wounded two others, in an ambush on their convoy on Thursday in the southern Philippines, the military said.

The attack took place outside Maimbung town on the island of Jolo as the soldiers headed to the market for provisions, said local military spokesman Major Eugene Batara.

"We have reports that the Abu Sayyaf were the ones who attacked them," he added, saying the gunmen also took six M-16 rifles.

The attack is the latest in an escalation of violence in the restive south where troops have been massing since July 10 when 14 Marines were killed on Basilan. Ten of the Marines were beheaded.

At least three Abu Sayyaf extremists and a soldier were killed Wednesday and two Marines wounded Tuesday in clashes in Jolo island.

The Abu Sayyaf group, which the US and Philippine governments have linked to the Al-Qaida terror network, has been responsible for numerous attacks on Christians and foreigners throughout the Philippines in recent years.

The Abu Sayyaf and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were behind the July 10 attack, the military and government have said.

The MILF, which is suppose to be observing a three year-old ceasefire, has admitted killing the Marines but denied beheading them.

More than 23,000 villagers residing near MILF camps in the southern Philippines have fled their homes for fear of getting caught up in any possible government attack.

Despite the heightening of tensions, government peace negotiators have said they expect to reopen peace talks with the MILF in Malaysia before the end of this month.

Escalation in violence that started well over ten years ago and hasn't subsided despite all sorts of peace talks and ass-kissing. Someone somewhere please take the gloves off.

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