RealNews

Philippines Island Blacked Out

Muslim separatists cut off power supplies to at least 18 million people in the southern Philippines by blowing up electricity pylons, authorities said. The Philippine army blamed the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), but a MILF spokesman said the group was not to blame. The attacks happened on the island of Mindanao, where there has been heavy fighting between the rebels and Philippine government forces. Electricity had been restored to about 90% of the island by mid-afternoon on Thursday, officials said. The blackout, which started overnight, came as Philippine troops were on alert for what the military said were possible attacks by the MILF, the country’s largest Muslim rebel group. MILF spokesman Mohaqher Iqbal, interviewed on Catholic radio station DXMS, denied his group sabotaged the power supplies. But he said the group was on a renewed offensive against the government, two weeks after the military captured a MILF stronghold on Mindanao. The group has been fighting for a separate Muslim state in the south of the mainly Catholic Philippines for three decades. Full Story

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