Philippines: Moslem Rebels Rapidly Recruit

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December 16, 2005: The MILF has taken advantage of the ceasefire to rebuild training camps, and recruit and train another 4,000 new fighters. The government has gone public with its complaints about this. There have been several skirmishes between MILF gunmen and army patrols that got too close to some of these new camps. Expanding their armed manpower from 12,000 to 16,000 is seen as a violation of the ceasefire.

December 15, 2005: An 80 year old retired general, and several former government officials, tried to stage a coup and establish a "transitional government" to replace president Arroyo. The attempt failed, quickly, and arrests were made.

December 12, 2005: The army believes that two Indonesian terrorists, Dulmatin and Umar Patek, are hiding in the southern Philippines. The two men are members of Islamic terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, and are believed to have been involved in the 2002 Bali bombing attack. The two men fled Indonesia because of the intense counter-terrorism activities there.

December 11, 2005: On Sulu, two soldiers were killed, and eleven wounded, during a clash with Abu Sayyaf rebels.

 

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