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Manila to Cancel Peace Talks if Rebels Behind Bombing

The Philippine government will call off peace talks with the country’s largest Muslim rebel group if the militants were found responsible for a bomb attack this week, officials said on Friday. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, speaking at the site of Thursday’s bomb attack in the southern Philippine town of Koronadal, vowed to prosecute those responsible. Three people were killed and 25 wounded in the blast near a market. “Nothing in the peace process will deter us from punishing terrorists and bringing them to justice,” she told a crowd gathered at the market. In a separate statement issued by the presidential palace, Arroyo said: “This event will not deter us from preparations for the peace negotiations, unless the MILF is proven to be involved.” Asked if Arroyo would set aside peace talks if the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was involved in the Koronadal bombing, her spokesman Ignacio Bunye told reporters: “That’s correct.” Full Story

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