Until next time.
This story got pushed down the news by the massacre in Kenya. Thankfully not so many innocent people died, but even one would have been too many. Â From Â theÂ Herald SunÂ and AP via theÂ Belfast Telegraph
The careful omission of the words “Islam” and “Muslims” in news reports about terrorist attacks and atrocities,here.–by Hugh Fitzgerald
THE Philippine military declared victory after a nearly three-week siege by separatist Muslim rebels in a major southern city, officials say.
A deadly three-week battle between government troops and Muslim rebels who held nearly 200 people hostage in the southern Philippines has ended with all of the captives safe, the country’s defence secretary said.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on Saturday the rebels had been defeated in Zamboanga, but acknowledged that their field commander was still unaccounted for.Â “Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin declares Zamboanga standoff over … still searching for Commander Habier Malik,” his Twitter account announced on the 20th day of the standoff . . .Â He said 195 hostages were rescued, escaped or were freed.
Malik led a rebel faction of the Moro National Liberation Front in attacking the city to declare an independent Bangsamoro Republic.
The siege began when heavily armed insurgents arrived by boat from outlying islands but were blocked by troops and police, who discovered what authorities said was a rebel plan to occupy and hoist their flag at Zamboanga’s city hall.
The rebels then stormed five coastal communities and took residents hostage and were surrounded by troops.
Soldiers conducted clearing operations and searches for explosives Saturday as normal life resumed in the seaside city of about 800,000 inhabitants.Â Police and troops still have to clear areas of the dangerous leftovers of the fighting, including unexploded bombs and possible booby traps, Mr Gazmin said.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said more than 110,000 people had been displaced and more than 10,000 houses were burned or suffered damage in the clashes.