The Philippine government on Saturday (16 February) announced that some 250 Muslim rebels and 26 government troops have been killed in fighting in the southern Philippine island of Jolo.
GV interior press confernce Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile speaking to newsmen
MV Enrile speaking
GV reverse shot of press conference
CU & MV Enrile spekaing
CU map of Jolo
MV & GV Enrile showing photographs to newsmen (3 shots)
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Background: The Philippine government on Saturday (16 February) announced that some 250 Muslim rebels and 26 government troops have been killed in fighting in the southern Philippine island of Jolo.
Speaking at a press conference, Defence Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile said that since fighting flared up in Jolo -- an island in the Sulu Archipelago about 600 miles (960 kms) south of Manila -- a total of 300 people have been killed, including some civilians caught in the crossfire.
According to Mr. Enrile, government forces were in "complete control" of the island after some 300 Muslims attacked the town of Jolo, capital of the island, on February 7th.
The rebels were driven back by government troops who were helped by Muslim residents, but only after the insurgents set fire to houses, leaving half the town gutted. The rebels used modern weapons in their attack, including Belgian-made automatic rifles and mortars captured from a military camp near Jolo.
During the press conference, Mr. Enrile denied reports, attributed to the governments Social Welfare Office, as saying that over 10,000 were killed during the rebellion. he also denied that the government was on a genocide campaign to exterminate Filipino Muslims.
Mr. Enrile went on to say that President Ferdinand Marcos has ordered the arrest of the entire police force of Jolo for not opposing the entry of the rebels into the town. He said that the Mayor of Jolo had disappeared with the rebels.
Military operations against the insurgents are still continuing, and they now include air and naval components of the armed forces.