Over a dozen injured in Philippines bombings

A series of explosions rocked a southern Philippine city known for Islamic State-linked violence on Sunday night, wounding at least 17 people including soldiers, a military official said.A hand grenade was thrown into a military truck patrolling Cotabato City in the restive southern island of Mindanao, with eight soldiers and four civilians sustaining injuries from the bomb's shrapnel.It was quickly followed by an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in the nearby to

23 December 2019

Philippines rescues British couple from jihadists

Philippine soldiers on Monday rescued a British man and his wife from Islamic State-linked jihadists nearly two months after the couple were kidnapped from their beach resort in the nation's south, authorities said.Troops recovered the pair after a firefight with gunmen from the Abu Sayyaf group on the restive southern island of Jolo, which is a stronghold of the kidnap-for-ransom gang that has been behind some of the worst attacks in the Philippines."There was a brief exchange of f

26 November 2019

Six die in Philippines quake

A powerful earthquake struck the southern Philippines on Tuesday, killing six people, cracking buildings and injuring dozens in a region still reeling from a previous deadly tremor.Terrified locals ran into the streets after the 6.6-magnitude quake, which hit the island of Mindanao as schools and offices opened for the day.The shaking lasted up to a minute in some areas, damaging homes, multi-storey buildings and classrooms in a region where hundreds are still displaced by a quake that killed

30 October 2019

One dead in strong 6.4-magnitude Philippines quake

A child was killed in a strong 6.4-magnitude quake that hit the southern Philippines on Wednesday, a local mayor said, as houses collapsed, power was knocked out and a shopping mall burst into flames.Residents evacuated homes and buildings across the Mindanao region including a mall that caught fire in the city of General Santos shortly after the quake struck in the evening, officials said.The child died in a house collapse in the town of Datu Paglas, while four residents of nearby Tulunan to

17 October 2019

Will Marawi become a terrorist magnet?

Two years after the Philippine city of Marawi was overrun by jihadists it remains in ruins, with experts warning that stalled reconstruction efforts are bolstering the appeal of extremist groups in the volatile region.The 23 May, 2017 invasion by gunmen waving the black flag of the Islamic State (IS) group sparked a five-month battle that shattered swathes of the southern city.Demolition of blast-pocked buildings has finally begun, but after several false starts the government does not expect

24 May 2019

Philippine rebel: From fighter to minister

Murad Ebrahim's life as the Philippines' top Muslim rebel led him into fierce jungle combat and to meet with Osama bin Laden, but a very different challenge now awaits him: governing.Murad has been tapped to lead the majority-Catholic nation's brand-new territory in the restive south where Muslims have won new powers and an influx of cash in a push for peace.After decades as a rebel, Murad will need to become a bureaucrat and complete complex projects as chief minister of the b

25 February 2019

Rebel leaders to govern new Philippine territory

The Philippines on Friday handed over the reins of a new Muslim-led territory to rebel leaders who waged a decades-long fight for autonomy, but are now tasked with securing peace and prosperity.President Rodrigo Duterte personally swore in Murad Ebrahim, head of the Catholic-majority nation's largest Muslim group, as interim chief minister at a symbolic Manila ceremony.It comes after voters decisively backed in January the founding of the so-called Bangsamoro region in the south, the cul

23 February 2019

Martial law in the Philippines: When will it end?

In December 2017, the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte requested to extend martial law on the southern island of Mindanao for another year. Citing the need to fight Islamist terrorists and communists, martial law would need to be extended until the end of 2018. “There is a need for me to come up with something, otherwise Mindanao will blow apart,” Duterte told the media then.

26 March 2018

Soldier, five rebels dead in southern Philippines clash

Five Muslim rebels and a soldier were killed during a weekend ground and air assault by Philippines security forces on militants supportive of the Islamic State group in a restive southern region, the military said Monday. The Philippine army pounded some 50 militants with artillery in a five-hour attack on the island of Mindanao Saturday, according to regional military spokesman Captain Arvin Encinas. One soldier and at least five members of the rebel Bangsamoro Islamic Fre

8 January 2018