RealNews

Muslim Leader Fears Backlash in Philippines

Amid growing criticism that the Philippine government would be acting illegally if it let U.S. troops engage in combat here, a top Muslim leader warned Saturday that the planned deployment could trigger an anti-American backlash. “I am afraid this might be fraught with danger,” said Parouk Hussin, governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. “People are very poor, but everyone owns a gun.” Pentagon officials said last week that the U.S. will send about 3,000 troops to the Philippines to help hunt down members of the Abu Sayyaf, a ruthless gang of kidnappers who style themselves Islamic militants. Despite the Pentagon announcement, the office of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo continued to maintain Saturday that U.S. troops will not have a combat role and will serve only as trainers for Philippine soldiers. Full Story

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