Philippines declares holiday truce with Maoist rebels

Maoist guerrillas are expected to reciprocate the government gesture and impose a similar truce.

Philippines declares holiday truce with Maoist rebels

Philippine security forces will unilaterally suspend army offensives against Maoist-led rebels for 60-hours over Christmas, but will maintain defences, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

Manila will also observe a 24 hour ceasefire New Year, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita told reporters.

The truce will cover only the 4,000-member communist New People's Army (NPA), which has been waging a protracted guerrilla war since the late 1960s.

Maoist guerrillas are expected to reciprocate the government gesture and impose a similar truce.

But soldiers will continue to pursue an armed group suspected to be behind the massacre of 57 people in the south and the Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippines, military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Romeo Brawner said.

Since 1986, the government has observed a holiday ceasefire with communist rebels as the mainly Roman Catholic state celebrates one of the world's longest Christmas seasons.



Reuters

Last Mod: 23 Aralık 2009, 10:45
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