Philippines: Beheadings on Basilan


July 13, 2007: Despite the deaths of 14 marines there, the government is maintaining a ceasefire it has with the MILF on Basilan.

July 10, 2007: On Basilan, a truck load of marines, returning from a search for the kidnapped Italian priest, were ambushed by Abu Sayyaf, or MILF, and at least fourteen were killed and ten of them beheaded. At least four rebels were killed. The MILF claims they were involved, but denied that they beheaded anyone. The marines were in an area claimed to be under the control of the MILF.

July 8, 2007: Pictures and videos of the Italian priest, kidnapped last month, have show up. This proves the priest is alive, but so far the army has been unable to narrow down where the captive may be held.

July 7, 2007: In the south, another bus was destroyed by a bomb. There were no injuries, and the incident was related to criminal gangs trying to extort money from the bus companies.

July 6, 2007: Peace talks with the MILF won't resume until next month. The main obstacle is over how much autonomy and economic power the Moslems in the south would have. The government is worried about corruption, which is a major problem in the south, and wrecked previous efforts to give the south more autonomy.




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