Christian Villages Ransacked in Southern Philippines
ICC Note: The southern Philippines has been the scene of a brutal long-term war between the Philippine government and radical Islamic groups trying to create their own nation. Christians have often been caught in the middle, with foreign missionaries sometimes kidnapped and held for ransom by the rebel groups. Voice of the Martyrs is now reporting that late in July dozens of armed Muslims raided a Christian village in Cotabato, stealing possessions and shooting one village leader who tried to run for help.
8/22/2013 Philippines (CIC) – Two Christian villages in Midsayap, Cotabato, were attacked by the Muslim Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) on July 29th and July 31st, according to VOM sources. More than 70 armed men attacked the villages, using four boats to reach the villages and carry away their spoils. They ransacked the villagers’ homes, taking belongings such as rice, clothing and utensils. The attackers also took all the animals from the village, including goats, pigs and more than 300 ducks.
Reynaldo Aloro, a village leader who ran for help when he saw the armed Muslims, was caught by the attackers and killed. The villagers now walk to their farms by day and stay at an evacuation centre at night for fear of more attacks. The BIFF continually harass and threaten Christians as part of their campaign for a pure Islamic state.