The jihad continues in the Philippines. “Muslim rebels kill two in Phillippines,” from Reuters:
Muslim rebels fired mortar bombs on a Philippines marine base in the southern island of Jolo, killing two soldiers and a child, military officials said on Saturday.
Jolo is located almost halfway between Malaysia and the Philippine island of Mindanao.
Ten soldiers were wounded in the attack in Panamao town by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) late yesterday, which triggered a gun battle with security forces that continued through the night, Major Eugene Batara said.
The attack was led by MNLF commander Habier Malik who embarrassed the military in February when he held a general, a senior government official and their aides hostage for two nights.
The hostages were released unharmed after the Government handed over money and food.
Fighting between the troops and hundreds of rebels continued, and one military official, who declined to be named, said the MNLF’s base was coming under heavy fire.
“The command has already ordered the bombardment of the camp under commander Malik,” Maj Batara said.
The child was killed when one of the mortars fired by the rebels landed in a town hall.
The Philippines, a largely Catholic country, has been trying to quell Muslim separatism for decades on Mindanao island.
The Government signed a peace deal with the MNLF in 1996 that was meant to end a conflict that has killed over 120,000 people.
But the agreement was not properly implemented and there is sporadic fighting between government forces and disgruntled members of the MNLF.