Thursday, September 24, 2009

Moro rebel linked to bombings is captured in Mindanao

A Philippine Army soldier mans his post in Cotabato City. Troops and policemen captured a Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebel allegedly behind the spate of bombings in Kidapawan City. (Mindanao Examiner Photo / Mark Navales)

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / September 24, 2009) – Philippine authorities arrested a senior leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front implicated by the military to the spate of bombings in Kidapawan City in Mindanao, officials said on Thursday.

Colonel Jonathan Ponce, a spokesman for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said Badrudin Dalungan was held at a checkpoint on Wednesday in Cotabato City near Maguindanao province.

He said Dalungan is a member of the MILF’s special operations group tagged as behind the 2007 bombings in Kidapawan that killed and wounded several civilians.

“MILF-SOG Badrudin Dalungan was arrested on Wednesday afternoon at a checkpoint in Cotabato City. (He has) warrants of arrest for multiple frustrated murder in connection to the series of blasts in Kidapawan City in 2007,” Ponce said.

He said Dalungan’s arrest came a day after security forces also captured Camarudin Hadji Ali alias Commander Mudi at the house of one his wives in Cotabato City after a long intelligence and surveillance operations.

Ali is a leader of the MILF’s 105th Base Command under Ameril Umbra Kato and they are both wanted for the series of deadly attacks last year in Mindanao, according to Ponce.

He said the rebel leader has a bounty of more than a million pesos for his capture.

The MILF said authorities arrested the wrong men. “They got the wrong guys,” said Eid Kabalu, a senior MILF leader.

Early this month, troops captured Benjamin Esmail Satol, an alleged member of the MILF’s special operations group linked to the July 5 bombing outside a Catholic church in Cotabato City. At least five people were killed in the attack.

Satol was held at an army checkpoint in the village of Makir in Datu Odin Sinsuat town after soldiers seized a hand grenade from his bag.

The MILF, which is fighting the past three decades for self-determination, is currently negotiating peace with Manila.

Peace talks collapsed in August last year after rebel and government negotiators failed to sign a homeland deal which the Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional.

President Gloria Arroyo resumed the peace talks this year in an effort to put an end to bloody fighting in Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner)

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