Monday, December 21, 2009

Sayyaf, Moro rebels bomb bridge in Sulu

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / December 21, 2009) – Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants and Moro rebels bombed a bridge Monday in the southern Philippine province of Sulu where security forces are fighting insurgents, officials said.

Officials said the attack damaged the bridge near a base of the Moro National Liberation Front rebels in Indanan town. There were no casualties in the attack and that troops were sent to pursue the bombers, said Marine Brigadier General Rustico Guererro, commander of military forces in Sulu.

“The bombing affected the residents in the area, especially the farmers who cannot deliver their agricultural produce to the markets. We have sent troops in the area to pursue the attackers who are believed to be Abu Sayyaf and MNLF rebels under Tahil Sali,” the general said.

Officials said two more improvised bombs exploded earlier at a garbage dump in the capital town of Jolo, but there were also no reports of casualties.

No group claimed responsibility for the bombings, but the Bangsamoro National Liberation Army last week warned of more attacks and demanded the pull out of troops from near MNLF areas in Sulu, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.

It said rebels would launch a bigger attack if troops do not pull out by end of this month.

“We will give the military until December 30 to pull out government forces from near MNLF areas in Sulu. We have a big plan and it will be our gift to President Gloria Arroyo,” said Madarang Sali, the BNLA deputy leader.

The shadowy group has previously claimed responsibility for the string of attacks that killed two US Special Forces soldiers in Sulu in September. US troops have been deployed in Sulu since 2006 and assisting Philippine soldiers in fighting terrorism. (Mindanao Examiner)

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