Philippine launches air-ground assaults as MILF rejects communists offer

Philippine launched offensive assaults against MILF as they has rejected communist rebels' appeal for a joint campaign against the Arroyo government.

Philippine launches air-ground assaults as MILF rejects communists offer

The Philippine military on Friday launched air and ground assaults against Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members.

MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu denied the fighters occupied the two villages in Senator Ninoy Aquino town in Sultan Kudarat province, 960 kilometres south of Manila although Philippine claimed MILF attacked two southern villages, killing six civilians.

Military official said that there were no immediate reports of casualties in the offensives in the villages in Senator Ninoy Aquino town.

Sporadic clashes continue after peace talks between Manila and the MILF. Two sides signed agreed on August the Moro ancestral domain agreement.

The deal would have granted more than four million Moros their own homeland in the southern Philippines. But the Supreme Court canceled the deal.

Colonel Julieto Ando, an army spokesman said the air and ground assaults were launched as the number of MILF fighters in the villages increased to around 100.

Meanwhile MILF has rejected an appeal by the Communist Party of the Philippines for a joint "intensified campaign" against the Arroyo government.

Kabalu said on Friday the communist rebels' campaign has always been different from theirs.

"While we have a tactical alliance, still we will not join them. Our focus is confined only in Mindanao and we don't want to expand our concern," Kabalu said.

In a statement released on December 24, the CPP called for an intensified struggle against the Arroyo administration, citing issues including the global financial crisis, the failed peace negotiations between the MILF and the government, moves to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution, among others.

Kabalu said while both groups have been fighting a common enemy, their causes have not been the same.

"We can only work side by side in areas where we both have forces. But we cannot not join them in their campaign outside of Mindanao," Kabalu said.

The MILF has been fighting for an Islamic state since 1978.

Agencies
Last Mod: 28 Aralık 2008, 13:23
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