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Manila Expels Iraqi Diplomat It Linked to Rebels

The Philippines ordered the expulsion of an Iraqi diplomat Wednesday for alleged links to Muslim radicals blamed for a bombing that killed a U.S. soldier and three Filipinos in October. Second Secretary Husham Husain was the second Iraqi diplomat in 12 years to be ejected by the Philippines. Foreign Secretary Blas Ople said he had summoned Iraqi charge d’affaires Samir Bolus and told him that Husain “should leave within 48 hours.” “The Philippines today formally informed the Iraqi government that Second Secretary Husham Husain of the Iraqi embassy has ceased to enjoy the rights and privileges of a diplomat,” Ople said in a statement. The embassy has earlier denied allegations that Husain was involved with members of Abu Sayyaf, a militant Muslim group which the United States has blacklisted as a “terrorist organization.” Ople said Husain was being expelled after the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency traced cellular phone calls from Abu Sayyaf members to the diplomat immediately after the bombing of a karaoke bar in Zamboanga City. Full Story

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