One dead, eight kidnapped in southern Philippines
Although the attackers and their motive remain unclear at this point, many suspect that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is responsible for the attack on a southern village in the Philippines Friday. One person was killed and eight were abducted – including six children between the ages of two and 13.
4/10/09 Philippines (AFP) Suspected Muslim guerrillas attacked a village in the southern Philippines on Friday, killing one person and abducting eight others including six young children, a local official said.
About 40 armed men swooped on the farming community on the outskirts of Lamitan City on the island of Basilan, said Vice-Governor Al-Rashid Sakalahul, adding the kidnapped children were aged between two and 13.
The military says it suspects the kidnappers are members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a separatist group, but senior MILF leader Eid Kabalu said he had no details.
“We still have no reports about it. We will verify this report and whether MILF rebels are behind this incident,” he said.
The 12,000-member MILF has been waging a decades-old insurgency to set up a Muslim state in the southern Philippines, where Christian settlers now outnumber the original inhabitants.
A ceasefire is supposedly in place between the government and the MILF but rebel commanders last year launched attacks on Christian communities.
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