Philippine army destroys Moro mosque, kills 30 in MILF camp

Philippine troops seized a major MILF camp in two days of fighting on Moro, killing 30 fighters, an army spokesman said

Philippine army destroys Moro mosque, kills 30 in MILF camp


World Bulletin / News Desk

Philippine troops seized a major Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) camp in two days of fighting on a restive southern island, killing 30 fighters and wounding 20, an army spokesman said on Saturday.

Soldiers found dozens of bodies inside concrete bunkers at the MILF camp near Guindulungan town, Reuters quoted Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Ponce as saying.

Government's attacks across oil and gas-rich marshlands and nearby hills on the southern island of Mindanao has escalated in the last six weeks and displaced more than 50,000 families, pushing back prospects of peace talks stalled since August 2008.

Pnce said that they fired rockets until early this morning before soldiers entered the MILF encampment, which could accommodate about 200 insurgents.

The military said only five soldiers were wounded in nearly 48 hours of heavy fighting near Guindulungan town in Maguindanao province.

A mosque in Maguindanao was destroyed by the powerful bombs unleashed from the air strikes of the Philippine troops on Friday, MILF said on its website.

Mosque bombing

Moros said that "reports gathered from displaced civilians from the area said the Mosque was hit by 200lbs international bomb unleashed from the air assaults by the Philippine army."

"Mosque is the center of worships and unity in faith of all the Muslims the world over. Attacked on this Mosque in Muti was an offensive against all Muslims", a Muslim clergy was quoted as saying by MILF.

"We were not able to pray because the military operations started hours before the Friday (congregational) prayer," said report, adding that civilians had rush to safety before they could be put at the crossfire, Moros said.

After four decades of armed conflict between the Filipino state and the Moro Muslims, the two parties agreed to sign an agreement that would end the conflict. However, the supreme court of the Philippine declared the agreement illegal on August 4, which caused the conflict to resume.

The biggest new internal displacement of people last year was in Muslim region in Philippine, where 600,000 fled fighting with government and MILF in Muslim region, a United Nations-backed report said.

Luwaran.com., said that Ameen recalled that in the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) initialed by MILF and government peace negotiators on July 27, 2008, the latter acceded or conceded that it is the birthright of the Moros to be called as "Bangsamoro", which is a nationality identity as distinguished from Filipinos.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Haziran 2009, 12:59
YORUM EKLE