fix articles 70933, task force comet
War in Mindanao :Palace, AFP reject OIC call for ceasefire in Sulu (tags)
Manila-- Malacañang is giving full support to the military offensive against renegade Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) forces in Sulu, which entered its fourth day of fierce fighting yesterday. While the government acknowledges the appeal of the 47-nation Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to disengage forces, Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said there must be an assurance against further attacks from the renegade forces. Nearly 8,500 families ( 40,000 people)have fled the fighting and thousands crammed into schools and gymnasiums in downtown Jolo, relying on food rations from disaster agencies. The mass evacuations are a bitter development for conflict-scarred residents, who had hoped Jolo was becoming a more stable place after a long-running military campaign to rid the island of scores of Islamic militants.
Sulu air, ground offensive continues (tags)
The Navy captured four suspected Abu Sayyaf supporters yesterday as they tried to breach a naval blockade of Jolo, Sulu to flee the military’s artillery bombardment and air strikes, which continued for the third day yesterday. The offensive is targeting Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khadaffy Janjalani and Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) militants Umar Patek and Dulmatin who are wanted for the Bali bombings in Indonesia in October 2002.