Philippines: Ramadan offensive against Moro rebels

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said Sept. 21 that its war would resume at the end of Ramadan if the Philippine military continues its offensive in Mindanao. Mohagher Iqbal, MILF chief negotiator, told Manila’s Daily Inquirer by phone that religious leaders in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur in sermons called on the Bangsamoro people to unite and wage a jihad against enemies of Islam. Philippine troops launched surprise attacks on MILF strongholds last weekend, in the midst of the holy month of Ramadan. Aid agencies are mobilizing emergency assistance to meet a potential “double whammy” in Mindanao, where 500,000 are already displaced by recent fighting and monsoon flooding. (Daily Inquirer, Sept. 22; World Bulletin, Turkey, Sept. 21; World Politics Review, Sept. 15)

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