RealNews

Philippine Rebels Extend Ceasefire

Muslim separatist rebels in the southern Philippines say they are extending their ceasefire in the region by a further 10 days. The ceasefire was due to end at midnight on Wednesday (1600 GMT), but the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said it had extended the deadline following a request by the Malaysian Government, which often mediates between the rebels and Jakarta. The Philippine military’s vice chief of staff, Lieutenant General Rodolfo Garcia, welcomed the ceasefire extension as a “positive move”. But he said the government still wanted a “permanent ceasefire… that would ensure the continuation of the peace talks”. The original 10-day ceasefire began on 2 June, after the military launched a series of intense aerial and artillery attacks to hunt down what President Gloria Arroyo termed “terrorist cells”. Full Story

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