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Philippines Judge Orders Arrest of Muslim Rebels

A Philippine judge issued arrest warrants on Friday for scores of Muslim rebels wanted by police in connection with a bombing that killed 21 people last week in the southern city of Davao. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the largest of four Muslim separatist groups, has denied any involvement in the worst terror attack in the mainly Roman Catholic nation since 22 people died in a series of blasts in Manila in December 2000. Murder charges have already been filed against MILF chairman Hashim Salamat and 150 of his rebels. “This court finds probable cause to order the arrest of the accused to stand trial for the crimes charged,” Judge Paul Arcangel ruled after reviewing evidence submitted by prosecutors. Two men were charged shortly after the March 4 attack, but it is far from certain that Philippine security forces will be able to track down — let alone capture — the rest of the suspects when they are protected by 12,000 heavily armed comrades. Full Story

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