Thursday, December 22, 2005

28 Terrorists Killed, 165 Others Captured In Philippines

A total of 28 local and foreign terrorists have been killed and 165 others captured in the Philippines during 19 months until October 2005, the country's anti-terrorism task force said. Defense under secretary Ricardo Blancaflor, head of the Anti-Terrorism Task Force (ATTF), told reporters that among the arrested, 10 are foreign nationals and the others are locals including 132 from the Abu Sayyaf group.
Philippine Soldiers
According to the ATTF statistics, since its activation in March 2004 until October 2005, the task force have arrested four members of the southeast Asian terrorist network, Jemaah Islamiyah, and 18 members of the Rajah Solaiman Movement (RSM), a radical group of Islamic converts in the south, including its chieftain Ahmad Santos. All the 28 killed were members of the Abu Sayyaf group, the record shows. A Tuesday report by the International Crisis Group said that the RSM is being used by the Al Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf to shift its operations to urban centers. Blancaflor brushed aside the report, saying "what I would like to point out is that achievements in terms of neutralized terrorists for the past two years was not touched on by the report." He also expected the passage of the anti-terrorism bill by the Senate. "Hopefully, it (anti-terror bill) would be taken up at the Senate when it resumes session next month."