Philippines: Bandits With a Cause


April 18, 2006: About a hundred NPA rebels attacked an army base in the south. A soldiers and local militiaman were killed. The rebels got away with 19 rifles and a machine-gun. The government use of local militiamen, to oppose extortion attempts by rebels

April 16, 2006: In the south, troops and local militia attacked an MILF camp, leaving one dead and three wounded. Local civilians had complained of MILF rebels committing crimes, and misbehaving in general. The MILF complained about this breach of the ceasefire, but the government insisted it had the right to go after MILF rebels who were breaking the law. The MILF has long had a problem with members who slipped into banditry. The NPA rebels, who are communists, have been more disciplined, although what they are doing is basically a large extortion and looting operation.

April 13, 2006: In the south, a police raid on an Abu Sayyaf bomb factory captured 300 blasting caps from India, plus explosives and timers. No arrests were made.


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