Philippines: Terrorists in the Mist

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March 10, 2006: The army and police continue to pick up clues that Islamic terrorists are still operating in the southern Philippines, but are unable to nail them down. Some of the suspected terrorists are foreigners from Indonesia, Malaysia and, occasionally, the Middle East. There are too many isolated villages up in the mountains, for the army and police to monitor at once. Too many places where low key terrorists can wander in and out of. The terrorists have cash, and know enough to use just enough to keep going.

March 7, 2006: Two small bombs, or grenades, went off in the capital, part of continued protests against president Gloria Arroyo. The coup attempt against her is over, but people who want her out of power are still around.

March 5, 2006: The national police have recalled mobile group police men, now operating in different provinces, for redeployment against vulnerable NPA groups. The national police also want to end the practice of the mobile police groups being diverted to bodyguard duties for local politicians.

March 3, 2006: An NPA land mine killed two policemen. NPA is avoiding direct confrontations with police or troops, not just because the communist rebels are outnumbered, but because morale in the NPA is down, and desertions are up.

 

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