Muslim rebels warn Philippines against retaliation


MANILA (Reuters) – The largest of four Muslim separatist groups in the southern Philippines warned on Sunday against military retaliation for the beheading of 10 marines in a battle last week.

A tense ceasefire is holding on the southern island of Basilan as the military and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front separately investigate last week’s heavy fighting in which at least 18 people, including 14 marines, were killed and 16 wounded.

But a fresh battalion of marines was moved to Basilan on Friday and the military has sworn to track down those responsible for the mutilations, triggering a warning from the MILF that the massing of troops was a provocation and violated a truce agreement.

“There is really a need to distinguish who were responsible and who are innocent,” Khaled Musa, a rebel spokesman said in a statement posted at the MILF website www.luwaran.com on Sunday.

“A collective punishment is not a good option for the government because so many innocent people would be affected or even killed or wounded.”

Marine commander Major-General Nelson Allaga said on Sunday they had a list of people who were behind the beheading of the soldiers during the nine-hour battle and vowed to hunt them down.

“We’ll go after them wherever they’re hiding,” Allaga told reporters at a memorial service at the Marine base in Manila on Sunday.

Musa called on the government for restraint, warning a full-scale attack on its forces on Basilan could further delay the resumption of talks in Malaysia and could affect the entire peace process between the largely Catholic central government and the rebels.

The military says the Marines were ambushed by hundreds of armed men and 10 of those killed were beheaded. Rebels say troops entered one of their camps without permission, but added they will investigate the decapitations.

The ceasefire between the military and the MILF, which has been in place since 2003, has been occasionally broken, but Tuesday’s fighting was one of the most serious violations.


Relatives of the 14 marines, killed in action in southern Philippines, stand behind the coffins during a ceremony at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City Metro Manila July 14, 2007. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo vowed on Saturday to seek justice for 14 marines killed in a rebel ambush in the southern Philippines this week, but promised an equal “determination to forge peace”. REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo (PHILIPPINES)


Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo condoles relatives of the 14 marines, killed in action in southern Philippines,during the blessing of its remains at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City metro Manila July 14, 2007. Arroyo vowed on Saturday to seek justice for the marines killed in a rebel ambush in the southern Philippines this week, but promised an equal “determination to forge peace”. REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo (PHILIPPINES)


Philippine soldiers carry the coffins of the 14 marines, killed in action in southern Philippines, after a ceremony at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City Metro Manila, July 14, 2007. Philippine President Gloria Arroyo vowed on Saturday to seek justice for the marines killed in a rebel ambush in the southern Philippines this week, but promised an equal “determination to forge peace”. REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo (PHILIPPINES)

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Comments

  1. Datu Puti says:

    An attack by the AFP and/or the hunting down of the men will result in heavy collateral damage. That collateral will include noncombatant women and children plus destroyed livelihoods and displacement. We need to give the Muslims more of their land back and give them greater autonomy. We need to stop pitting our people against each other.

  2. reb_el z. says:

    hmmmm….there should b an article talking about the anti-terrorism bill or the human securities act that just got implemented…

    cuz that’s why there’s bullshyte intensive offensive rite now…

  3. Sam says:

    The Pinoy just updated. This link has the complete text of the Human Security Act. A must read! http://thepinoy.net/?p=802

  4. reb_el z. says:

    whoo….lovin thepinoy.net….

    deng, u guys respond quick

    bigup n respek

  5. abu musa says:

    for all my muslems brother,keep struggling to make all our dream comes true.struggle for stand the “khilafah islamiyah”all over the world.ALLAHU AKBAR !!! we are indonesian mujahiddin,still fight with america,with yahudi,kafirun.we always accompany you with my pray “laa haula walaa quwwata illaabillah “

  6. NAS-rOdiN the great says:

    go muslem brother fight for our freedom

  7. shenna says:

    Be a good crhistian this world,,,,,,u do not need to fight to philippine gov’ as well u should to be give and peace to our country how ever the most emportan’t freedom for our community thanks’a lot and me god bless all pilipino’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Concern filipino says:

    MILF group are just power hungry. Give them simething and they will ask for more. The problem in mindanao is never ending. All I can say is that not only the provinces in mindanao are poor, for where I have been in Bicol region. You will see that the provinces are also too poor. Do you know that the national governement is pouring in billions of pesos every year to the ARMM region? where is the development? All I can say is that if they want war and war shall be given. I for sure they were not neglected by the Philippine government. I as a filipino and a christian, we dont descriminate or persecute our muslim borthers.

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