Philippines: March 7, 2005


Two more Abu Sayyaf members, suspected of participation in the February 14 terror bombings, have been arrested. Combat operations continue on Jolo, where hundreds of armed rebels are attacking army camps. Over a hundred rebels and troops have died in a month of violence. The army has sent civil affairs and engineering units to  Jolo, to rebuild areas damaged in the fighting, as well as repairing roads. The Moslem minority in the southern Philippines has long resented political control by more prosperous, and numerous, Christians. Moreover, a long tradition of violent clan feuds has equipped the Moslems with the means to use organized violence against the government, and Christians living in the southern Moslem areas. 


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