HEY, AMANPOUR: IS ABU SAYAF ATTACKING HERE BECAUSE OF HALLIBURTON AND THE NEO-CON-LIKUDNIK, RIGHT, OR IS BECAUSE OF THE CHRISTIANIST FUNDAMENTALISTS!?
The Philippine military has been ordered to step up its offensive against Islamic militants in the south, the country's military chief-of-staff said yesterday.
"I have standing orders to hit every confirmed (location). The Abu Sayyaf will be dealt with as fast as we can, as decisively as we can," General Hermogenes Esperon told reporters a day after President Gloria Arroyo visited frontline troops on Basilan island.
The government has massed 17 battalions of marines and infantry on the restive southern Basilan and Jolo islands to hunt down and destroy the Al Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf, blamed for the worst terrorist attacks in the Philippines.
Esperon said the large military presence, estimated at more than 10,000 soldiers, enabled the government to quarantine and enforce a "total gun ban" on the two mainly Muslim provinces. He said the campaign aims to "put off balance" the Abu Sayyaf so its forces will not be able to launch any terrorist activities, and give way to the second phase of the operations which will focus on development.
Nearly 24,000 people have fled their homes on both islands to escape the fighting, relief officials said. "The situation in Basilan remains critical due to ongoing (military) operations against Abu Sayyaf group targets," the government relief agency said.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
PHILLIPINES STEPS UP ANTI-ISLAMO-TERROR WAR
PENINSULA/AFP: Manila steps up anti-rebel fight