Philippines: Uprising in the South

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July 6, 2006: After a week of violence in the south, with at over a hundred casualties, and over 15,000 villagers fleeing their homes, things have settled down. The MILF was doing more intimidating than fighting, mainly to express their displeasure at an earlier army shelling of an MILF camp and arrests of MILF leaders suspected of terrorism.

July 5, 2006: The government is forming a joint military-police task force to go after the NPA rebels, and wipe them out once and for all. Of late, the NPA has turned into little more than bandits, extorting and stealing to sustain themselves, and leaving behind their goal of establishing a communist dictatorship.

July 3, 2006: MILF commanders are trying to get their fighters to stop fighting with soldiers and police. The violence has gotten out of control and both the MILF and government fear that the peace talks, and the three year truce, could be in danger. But MILF communications are not all that good, and not all MILF gunmen are eager to stop fighting.

June 30, 2006: In the last six months, operations against communist NPA rebels has left 104 soldiers and 84 rebels dead. The army insists that it is doing serious damage to the NPA, despite taking more casualties. The army has been pushing into areas long dominated by the NPA, and risking ambush by many NPA groups that have nowhere to retreat to.

June 28, 2006: The MILF is upset because police tried to arrest two MILF commanders, who were suspected of organizing terrorist bombings. The MILF also accuses the army of firing thirty 105mm shells at one of their camps. As a result, MILF gunmen have been ordered to fire at troops and attack police stations. Civilians living near military camps and police stations, are fleeing their homes to avoid the gun and mortar fire.

 

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