GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

More on the jihad in the Philippines...

I didn't realize the terrorists are holding 3 Red Cross workers hostage...
The Philippines pulled about 800 police and militiamen out of a cordon surrounding kidnappers holding three Red Cross workers on a remote southern island on Saturday, partially giving in to the Islamist militants' demands.

Interior secretary Ronaldo Puno told reporters the government had made a "difficult" decision to abandon positions that would allow the Abu Sayyaf rebels access to the island's coastline, but kept about 1,500 other troops posted along an inland highway.

Puno had said on Friday that the government would not give in to the rebels' demand to pull back from positions on remote Jolo island. The Red Cross staff have been held for over two months.

"We are taking risks," Puno said after meeting security officials at the southern port city of Zamboanga. Other officials said the navy would patrol the waters off Jolo but the cordon would not be as tight.

Officials said Puno was hoping the partial agreement to the rebel demand would allow for fresh negotiations for the release of the three members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) -- Swiss national Andreas Notter, Italian Eugenio Vagni and Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba.

They were kidnapped on January 15 after inspecting a prison on Jolo and are being held by an estimated 100 heavily armed rebels in a 5 sq km area in the island's rugged jungles.

"We are giving them a breathing space where they feel they're safe to negotiate," Puno said. "It's a difficult decision and not all agreed to the decision."

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