Saturday, May 08, 2010

More troops deployed in Sulu

A Philippine military convoy cuts its way through a busy road in Jolo, the capital town of Sulu province, on Saturday, May 8, 2010. Troops have been deployed to guard Monday's general elections in the country's first automated polls. Abu Sayyaf militants whose group is tied to al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya is actively operating in the restive southern region. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 8, 2010) – The Philippine military on Saturday deployed more troops in the restive southern province of Sulu to secure polling areas ahead of general elections next week.

Abu Sayyaf militants and Moro rebels are actively operating in the province where US troops are helping Filipino soldiers in defeating terrorism. “I hope there will be no violence so elections can push through peacefully,” said Brigadier General Rustico Guerrero, the commander of military forces in Sulu.

Sulu is one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region where elections are traditionally violent.

Abu Sayyaf militants had attacked civilians to prevent them from voting in previous elections, but Guerrero said troops have been deployed to secure the locals and the polls.

The governor of Sulu, Sakur Tan, who is seeking re-election, survived an assassination attempt last year after Abu Sayyaf militants detonated a roadside bomb as the politician’s convoy was passing in Patikul town, wounding several people. Police have linked Tan’s political foes to the failed assassination.

More than 50 million Filipinos are to choose their new leaders in the country’s first ever automated elections on Monday. (Mindanao Examiner)

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