Philippines: Kite Downs Helicopter

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May 5, 2007: In the last four months, nearly a hundred people have died in election related violence. To help halt the killings, police have seized nearly 1,900 firearms, 182 bombs and over 300 other weapons, from political gangs. During the 2004 campaign, 189 election related deaths were reported, and police hope to keep the body count lower than that this year.

May 4, 2007: NPA rebels are active intimidating political candidates. Mainly, the Maoist rebels are seeking extortion payments, in return for not attack candidates or campaign workers. Many candidates have refused to pay this year, and the NPA thugs have been busy.May 1, 2007: The government has ordered over a thousand additional soldiers to the capital, to help deal with election campaign violence. April 30, 2007: Australia warned its citizens to steer clear of political demonstrations in the Philippines, at least until the May 14 elections take place. Election campaign violence is nothing new here, but seems to be worse this year.

April 29, 2007: A UH-1 helicopter came down in a town in the central Philippines, killing nine people (mostly on the ground). The military ordered all 41 of the UH-1s grounded as a precaution. It was soon discovered that nylon cord, used to fly a kite, had been encountered, and jammed the rotor, causing the helicopter to lose control and come down hard. The nylon kite cord is a known hazard. Meanwhile, further south, police found and neutralized a bomb left in a shopping area.

 

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