The Mosque! the Mosque! The Mosque is on Fire!
* Damn those infidel sons of apes and swine!
“Army attacked our men inside a mosque – MILF”
Â MANILA, Philippines –Â The Moro Islamic Liberation Front on Saturday accused the Army of attacking MILF forces while the rebels were praying inside a mosque in Sarangani last Friday.Â
A statement on theÂ MILF Web siteÂ said one MILF member was killed in the attack on the 107th Base Command at 12:30 p.m. in Daliao, Maasim town.
“Firing at the Mosque, a sacred religious symbol of the Muslim, is an attack to all the Muslims the world over. This was an act totally disrespectful of the cultural and religious symbols of the Muslims,” it said.
* Sure thing. As if Muslims showed ever showed respect to other peoples cultural and religious symbols. When did they ever care when their bombs go off in churches, temples, synagogues or even other mosques? Like here or here or here (and that’s just from today!)
“This was not the first such attacks against the MILF during religious rituals by government forces. On February 11, 2003 , the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) attacked the MILF at Buliok Complex during the observance of Eid’l Adha, a global Muslim holiday, while the late MILF Chairman Salamat Hashim was delivering his sermon,” it added.
Army Lt. Col. Roland Bautista, spokesman for the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, which has jurisdiction over Sarangani, denied the allegation.
“The rebels were advancing toward civilian areas and soldiers stopped them from getting near those areas. We deny MILF accusations that troops attacked the mosque,” Bautista said.
He said two soldiers were wounded in the clash with about 100 rebels.Â
Bautista said troops also overran a rebel encampment in the village and destroyed several bunkers.
But in MalacaÃ±ang, Cerge Reomonde, head of the Presidential Management Staff, scored the MILF for “propaganda,” while throwing support behind the Armed Forces of the Philippines.Â
Remonde challenged the MILF to show sincerity in the peace process.
“We stand by the leadership of (AFP chief of staff Gen. Alexander) Yano …Â Nanawagan tayo saMILFÂ naÂ challengeÂ natin sa kanilaÂ to demonstrate sincerity for continuance of peace process by giving up renegade commanders Bravo, Kato and Pangalian (We stand by the leadership of AFP chief of staff Gen. Alexander Yano. We call on the MILF to show sincerity in the peace process by giving up its renegade commanders Umbra Kato, Bravo and Pangalian),” Remonde said on government-run dzRB radio.
The MILF said soldiers of the 66th, 72nd, 73rd Infantry Battalions (IBs) and Scout Rangers of the Philippine Army perpetrated the attack.
The MILF said its forces were unable to finish their prayer.
“Several bullets hit the mosque. But the commander chided that this sort of attack was not surprising because AFP also attacked the MILF during Eidl Adha celebration in 2003 during the siege of Buliok Center and there were also massacres perpetrated by the government soldiers inside a Mosque during the martial law days,” the MILF said.
The MILF said the firefight lasted until 3 p.m. between some 30 MILF fighters against more than 500 soldiers at the vicinity of Post 3 of Camp Khalid bin Walid of the 107th Base Command.
An MILF fighter said they killed more than 10 soldiers when they fired their rocket propelled grenade (RPG) and hit government soldiers’ positions and concentrations.
Several rounds from 105 howitzers were fired against the MILF. The artillery firing were launched from two naval boat docked at the shore of Daliao in Maasim.
Hundreds of civilians and non-combatants fled to safer areas.
“Clearly, the police-military offensives of the government are no longer targeting the 105th and 102nd base commands of the MILF under Ustaz Umbra Kato and Commander Bravo respectively,” the MILF said.
Fierce firefights also erupted between the 105th Base Command and the army and their paramilitary support group Friday afternoon in the villages of Mamasapano and Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao, the MILF said.
Some bodies of the soldiers were not yet recovered as of 5 p.m., Friday. There was no casualty on the side of the MILF, the group claims.Â – GMANews.TV