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Fighters of breakaway Muslim group storm southern Philippine town | Conflict News From “Al Jazeera – Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera”



DEVELOPING STORYAs many as 200 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters reportedly occupied the central market of Datu Paglas in Mindanao.Suspected members of the group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), stormed a town in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on Saturday, according to media reports, forcing many residents to evacuate as the military set up road blockades and advanced towards the area.
As many as 200 BIFF fighters reportedly entered Datu Paglas, a town in the province of Maguindanao in Mindanao, early on Saturday, the state television PTV said. Other reports placed the number of fighters between 80 to 100.
PTV said a “leadership conflict” prompted the group of fighters, led by a certain Commander Solaiman Tudin, to occupy the town.
Video footage posted by MAX FM, a radio station in the neighbouring city of Tacurong, showed government troops blocking a highway leading to Datu Paglas.
Another video clip showed thick black smoke rising from the town, as some residents were seen fleeing from the area.
In a separate social media post by Brigada News FM, military personnel were seen hunkered down on the side of a road, as sounds of gunfire were heard.

Esmael Mangudadatu, a Congress member and former governor of Maguindanao, told the radio station that the main concern now is to secure the safety of civilians. Many of the residents of the town are preparing for Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
A military spokesman in the region, identified as Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Baldomar, was also quoted by Brigada News FM, another radio station, as saying that the fighters have occupied the Datu Paglas market.
The BIFF is opposed to the peace agreement in southern Philippines between the main Muslim rebel group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the central government, leading to their breakaway.
According to the military, some of the BIFF fighters have reportedly fought alongside the Maute group and the Abu Sayyaf in the 2017 siege of Marawi, which lasted for five months.
Some members of the BIFF have also reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).







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Philippine foreign minister tells China to ‘Get the F**k Out’ over South China Sea dispute : worldnews From “World News”



Fuck off, China. Signed:The Mongolians, Tibetans, Uyghur people, Born and raised Hong Kong, most Canton speakers of china, Vietnamese, Indians, .. i just realized the list is waaaay too long of people whose personal civil liberties and territory are being taken away.Maybe fuck off China -World







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China Calls For Basic Etiquette After Philippine Minister’s Outburst From “NDTV News – World-news”



China Foreign Minister and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary during a meet in Manila (FILE)Beijing: China urged the Philippines on Tuesday to observe “basic etiquette” and eschew megaphone diplomacy after the southeast Asian nation’s foreign minister used an expletive-laced Twitter message to demand that China’s vessels leave disputed waters.The comments by Teodoro Locsin, known for occasional blunt remarks, follow Manila’s protests over what it calls the illegal presence of hundreds of Chinese boats inside the Philippines’ 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).In a statement, China’s foreign ministry urged the Philippines to respect the nation’s sovereignty and jurisdiction and stop taking actions that complicate the situation.”Facts have repeatedly proved that microphone diplomacy cannot change the facts, but can only undermine mutual trust,” it said.”It is hoped that relevant people in the Philippines will comply with basic etiquette and their position when making remarks.”The ministry cited comments by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte that differences between the countries on individual issues should not affect friendship and cooperation.”China has always worked, and will continue to work with the Philippines, to properly resolve differences and advance cooperation through friendly consultations.”China claims almost the entire South China Sea, through which about $3 trillion of ship-borne trade passes each year. In 2016, an arbitration tribunal in the Hague ruled that its claim was inconsistent with international law.”I won’t plead the last provocation as an excuse for losing it; but if Wang Yi is following Twitter then I’m sorry for hurting his feelings but his alone,” Locsin said on Twitter on Tuesday, referring to the Chinese government’s top diplomat.Duterte has reminded his officials that there is no room for cursing in the matter of diplomacy. “Only the President can cuss,” his spokesman, Harry Roque, told a regular news conference.(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)







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Philippine foreign secretary Locsin slams Beijing over South China Sea From “International: Top News And Analysis”



Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin speaks at a press conference after meeting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing, China on March 20, 2019.Andrea Verdelli | Getty ImagesPhilippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr. slammed China with decidedly undiplomatic language on Twitter Monday, suggesting the Asian giant “get the f— out” as the two countries engage in a war of words over the South China Sea.Locsin in the tweet accused China of straining its “friendship” with the Philippines. The foreign affairs secretary has been a vocal critic of China in the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who sought closer ties with Beijing after taking office in 2016.China’s embassy in the Philippine capital of Manila did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.In response to criticism of his rhetoric made by other Twitter users, Locsin said the “usual suave diplomatic speak gets nothing done.”The Philippines and China have for years contested overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea, a resource-rich waterway with a total area of about 1.4 million square miles where trillions in dollars of global trade pass. Beijing has in the past year appeared more assertive in the disputed waters.Locsin’s Monday tweet followed a statement by the Philippine foreign affairs department, which protested the “illegal presence” of Chinese vessels in parts of the South China Sea that are internationally recognized as belonging to the Philippines.The statement lashed out at “belligerent actions” by the Chinese coast guard against their Philippine counterparts in the vicinity of Bajo de Masinloc. It said the Chinese had engaged in “shadowing, blocking, dangerous maneuver, and radio challenges” on April 24 to 25.It also protested the “incessant, illegal, prolonged, and increasing presence of Chinese finishing vessels and maritime militia vessels in Philippine maritime zones.”China ‘enjoys sovereignty’Beijing last week maintained that it “enjoys sovereignty” over Bajo de Masinloc — which it calls Huangyan Island — and its surrounding waters. It urged the Philippines not to escalate disputes.Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal, is a chain of reefs in the South China Sea that lies around 120 nautical miles from the nearest Philippine coast and 470 nautical miles from the nearest coast of China.China claims most of the South China Sea, based on what it says are nine dashes that delineate Chinese territory in historic maps.An international tribunal in 2016 dismissed the so-called nine-dash line as legally baseless — a ruling ignored by Beijing.







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