MANILA (Reuters) -Suspected Muslim rebels…
(just take a moment and let it sink in: “suspected Muslim rebels”- ???)
…stormed a jail in the southern Philippines early on Friday with grenades and rockets, blasted a hole in its wall and helped 46 prisoners escape, authorities said.
Some of those who escaped were men arrested for bomb blasts in the volatile Mindanao region of the south, where at least four Islamic separatist groups operate.
At least 25 heavily-armed men attacked the jail in Kidapawan City, 960 km (600 miles) south of Manila, and freed the prisoners in a 15-minute operation, said Federico Dulay, police chief of the North Cotabato province. Forty-six of the 789 prisoners housed there escaped, he said. Two people were wounded, including a jail guard.
“We were caught with our pants down,” said provincial governor Emmanuel Pinot.
“I have ordered police to shoot these very dangerous people if they will resist arrest. They are better dead than a menace to our communities.”
Next time better pull your pants up, Emmanuel!
Philippine security officials said a rogue faction within the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was behind the attack. The MILF is the largest Muslim separatist group in the Philippines and it is trying to revive stalled peace talks with Manila.
In order to ‘revive peace talks with Manila’ they have to raid a jail to free their Muslim-brothers, makes sense. Excellent reporting, Reuters. Excellent!
Dulay said the militants mounted the raid on the provincial jail to free 14 “high value prisoners” who were involved in bomb attacks in the south in 2003.
“We received reports that the group commandeered a mini-bus hours after the raid and was believed to be headed to the rebels’ hideout in Liguasan marsh,” Dulay said, ordering his troops to set up checkpoints to intercept the escapees. Continued…