Intense fighting between government and terrorists in Mindanao
Government is trying to suppress Islamic terrorists in the troubled province.
Escalating conflict between Islamic fanatics and government forces in the southern Philippines has displaced more than 10,000 people according to the Philippine government.
Terrorists like these had kidnapped and attacked civilians for years in the troubled Mindanao province.
The latest fighting comes as the government attempts to crack down on their operations. In addition to troops, aircraft are being used to bomb suspected terrorist targets. The various Islamic organizations which support these terrorists are confirming that they are all under assault from security forces.
The Philippine president, Benigno Aquino III, said that not all Muslims in the region were being targeted but rather, the strikes are tailored to attack "lawless elements".
Until now, the Philippine government had been in talks with some of the largest Islamic organizations in the area in an effort to put an end to the long-running conflict between the Islamic population and the government.
The President has insisted that the peaceful elements were not being targeted. However, a government spokesperson said that Islamic militants were seeking sanctuary from the peaceful Muslims in the region and that this is complicating the efforts to bring terrorists to justice.
With the exception of the terrorists, both government and Muslim leaders have emphasized they are committed to a peaceful resolution of the conflict, however militant Muslims in the southern part of the country remain bent on independence so it is unlikely that conflict in the region will come to an end anytime soon.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Philippines, Islam, Muslims, terrorism, refugees, displaced, conflict, civil war
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