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Philippine Christians Asked to Cancel Fetsivals in South

ICC Note:

Due to increased levels of violence in the southern Philippines, authorities have asked that Christian festivals that might provoke Muslim militants be cancelled or downsized.

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1/8/09 Philippines (EasyBourse) Authorities have asked local officials in the southern Philippines to cancel or downsize Christian festivals that might otherwise provoke Muslim militants, the region’s top policeman said Thursday.

Police conveyed the request to officials in the Mindanao region, where half a million people were displaced by Muslim separatists’ raids in the latter half of 2008, said regional police commander Chief Superintendent Fidel Cimatu.

In the latest attack, an unknown suspect tossed a grenade into a huge crowd of New Year revelers in the southern city of General Santos, wounding 22 people.

Should cancellations be impossible, local police forces were under orders to impose “strict security measures for those activities,” including “frisking people and strengthening police visibility,” he said.

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