Aquino government at fault for the Al-Barka incident – MILF

MANILA, Philippines – a ranking Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) official on Sunday said that Aquino government should be the one to be punished for the incident in Al-Barka, Basilan last October 18.

At least 19 special forces soldiers and six militants were killed and several others were wounded when  government troops tried to arrest a wanted MILF commander, Laksaw Dan Asnawi in Al-Barka in a day long gun-battle.

MILF chief negotiator, Mohagher Iqbal said that the Aquino government and not Asnawi should be punished for the said incident and for accusing one of their commanders for past criminal incidents in the said town.

“Dapat… kahit yun panghuli kay Asnawi, may kasalanan dun ang gobyerno… it violated his religous right at tapos hindi sihya responsible dun sa pamumugot… kinasuhan sya, its very unjust,” Iqbal told defense reporters in a phone patched interview.

The beheading, which the MILF official was referring were another incident in the same town that took place on July 2007 where 10 marines were beheaded after being ambushed by combine forces of MILF and Abu Sayyaf (ASG) militants.

Iqbal added that the MILF should not be faulted for the incident in Al-Barka last October 18 saying that government troops were the ones who made the move against their forces despite of an existing ceasefire agreement.

The MILF official added that they are very confident that they did not violate any ceasefire agreement since they were ones that were attacked by government troops leading to a day long gun battle.

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