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    » 06/16/2008, 00.00

    PHILIPPINES

    Jolo: bomb at cathedral, security measures tightened

    Santosh Digal

    A bomb squad safely removed and detonated an explosive device placed near the church, in the city's main square. It's not yet known who placed the bomb and why. In Sibugay, the body has been found of one of the Islamic rebels implicated in the kidnapping of Fr Giancarlo Bossi.

    Jolo (AsiaNews) - Security has been tightened in Jolo, in the province of Sulu, the theatre of a bloody war between the Philippine army and Islamic rebel groups, after the discovery of a bomb in the central square of the city, near the cathedral, on Saturday evening.  According to a local radio station, a bomb squad removed the device and detonated it, and police forces have opened an investigation to discover who may have placed the bomb and why.

    In the meantime, a dissident leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, accused of participating in the kidnapping of Fr Giancarlo Bossi, a PIME missionary kidnapped in Payao in June of 2007, has been killed in the area of Sibugay, in Zamboanga.  Lieutenant Colonel Romeo Brawer Jr, an army spokesman, says commander Akiddin Akiddin Abdusalam was killed in an ambush around four o'clock Saturday afternoon in the city of Kabansalan.

    The bloody event brings to mind the dramatic days of the kidnapping of the Italian missionary, who spent 39 days in the hands of his kidnappers. The government paid a high price for his liberation, losing a number of men in the operation.  On July 10 of last year, 14 members of the Marine corps died in an ambush set up by Islamic rebels in the province of Basilan: 10 of them were beheaded.

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    See also

    11/08/2008 PHILIPPINES
    Philippines: fighting between army and Islamic rebels, more than 20 dead and 130,000 displaced
    More than 800 guerrillas are ensconced in 15 majority Christian villages in North Cotabato. The violence has created an enormous humanitarian crisis, and the Red Cross is preparing to send food and water. Part of the Filipino Church is in favor of the agreement on regional autonomy in Mindanao.

    12/08/2008 PHILIPPINES
    Bishops and Islamic leaders appeal for resumption of negotiations
    The army is advancing, but more than 160,000 people have fled from their homes, leaving everything behind. Catholic bishops and Islamic leaders ask the government and rebels to resume talks.

    10/02/2011 PHILIPPINES
    Fragile hopes for dialogue between government and Muslim rebels in Mindanao
    Negotiations conclude today in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and began yesterday after six months of deadlock. They are the first since the election of President Aquino. AsiaNews sources underline the commitment of the government in the negotiations, threatened by the recent split inside the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. In Zamboanga the work of the Silsilah movement for Muslim - Christian dialogue founded by Father Sebastiano D'Ambra (PIME), continues on a global level.

    06/07/2009 PHILIPPINES
    Papal appeal, a source of hope for Christians in Cotabato, Cathedral parish priest says
    Clergyman deplores the atmosphere of fear which has made the Christian community worry about more attacks. Benedict XVI’s words during the Angelus are a source of “strength and courage.” MILF rebels conduct a parallel investigation to find attack’s authors.

    06/08/2010 PHILIPPINES
    Christian suspected in suicide bomb attack on Zamboanga airport
    The explosion occurred yesterday, causing 2 deaths and 24 wounded. The man was a respected person from the Christian community. According to AsiaNews sources the suicide bomber was in fact a victim. Police and army investigations reveal he that brought the parcel bomb inside the airport without knowing it.



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