Philippines: February 11, 2003


Philippine President Arroyo ordered her troops to suspend fighting with Muslim Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels, after seven rebels and one soldier were killed in renewed clashes on the southern island of Mindanao. Fighting began at dawn near the town of Pikit (800 km south of Manila), after the army sent 3,000 soldiers there to confront about 1,000 MILF fighters. A large rebel group simultaneously attacked troops in Pikit and four other nearby military outposts, so the army counterattacked (backed by helicopters and fighter jets). Arroyo had ordered the suspension of hostilities around noon, in deference to the Islamic Eid ul-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice) holiday. - Adam Geibel


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