Philippines: No Place For Proper Tourists

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November 27, 2007: On Basilan, a local politician was arrested for involvement in the bombing death of another local politician outside the House of Representatives last week. The bomb was built and transported with the assistance of Abu Sayyaf members. Local politics in the south can get deadly. The two main groups down there are those who are willing to work with the Christian majority (like the dead Representative) and those who want an independent, or at least very autonomous, Moslem state in the south (like the Representatives killers). On top of this you have the usual corruption and clan rivalries and feuds.

November 26, 2007: Troops and police in the north are being withdrawn from counter-terror operations against communist NPA rebels, and being shifted to dealing with storm related emergencies. A major typhoon (Pacific hurricane) is headed for the area.

November 25, 2007: Britain warned its citizens against visiting the Moslem south in the Philippines, especially those area (like Basilan and Jolo islands) where military operations are under way. Britain believes Islamic radicals might attempt to harm, or kidnap, British citizens.

November 22, 2007: In the south, a bomb went off in a mall, killing one and wounding at least six others.

 

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