Philippine Christians Fear Failed Pact Increases Risk of Reprisals
Militant Islamists in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao have stepped up their attacks on majority-Christian villages following the failure of a peace agreement that would have enlarged an existing Muslim autonomous region there.
“The problem is that many people living in these areas don’t want to be part of a Muslim autonomous region,” a source in Mindanao who preferred to remain anonymous told Compass Direct News. “The closer you get to these zones, the more nervous people are,” he said. “The town of Kolambugan, where most of the fighting took place in mid-August, became a virtual ghost town for a while. It had a population of 25,000. But people are slowly returning to their homes.”
A Christian family from the area said many people were afraid to sleep at night because they kept hearing reports that they would be attacked at midnight.
Read more about the ongoing violence in Mindanao.