Saturday, October 12, 2013

MMD: Video: MNLF Mujahedin: Bangsamoro Armed Forces of Asadullah National Task Force Headed by Commander General Ustadz Habier Malik

Posted to Moro Muslim Defenders Facebook Page (Oct 12): Video: MNLF Mujahedin: Bangsamoro Armed Forces of Asadullah National Task Force Headed by Commanding General Ustadz Habier Malik

shared Sumping Moro's video.

Nur Misuari: Photo: Clearing Operations Continues with the Americans Soldiers...

Posted to the Facebook Page of Nur Misuari (Oct 11): Photo: Clearing Operations Continues with the Americans Soldiers...

NPA Communist Rebels smuggling high-powered weapons in ships transporting ore (China)

Posted to the anti-communist No to Partylist Allied to Organized Terrorist Groups (CPP-NPA-NDF) Facebook Page (Oct 6): Philippines: NPA Communist Rebels smuggling high-powered weapons in ships transporting ore (China)

The communist insurgent New Peoples Army (NPA) have received large quantities of AK-47 type assault rifles

Ships used in transporting mineral ore are being used to smuggle into the country weapons used by communist rebels a report said.

According to a report published by the Philippines-based Security Matters Magazine, the communist insurgent New Peoples Army (NPA) have received large quantities of AK-47 type assault rifles from abroad.

“Reports indicate that NPA fighters in Northern and Southern Mindanao are now armed with AK-47 rifles,” the publication said in its latest issue.

Originally manufactured in Russia and former Soviet bloc countries, variants of the weapons were produced in Asia by China, Vietnam and Cambodia. In comparison, Philippine armed forces standard issue long firearms are largely

US made or manufactured locally under licence from foreign principals.

According to the Security Matters report, the AK-47s, or its copies, have clandestinely been offloaded by foreign ships loading ore from the mines in southern Philippines’ Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur. Some of the firearms have ended up in the hands of rebels in Davao Region and Bukidnon province.

For years, the NPA had made do with sourcing its firearms locally.

Concerns about the large numbers of smuggled AK-47s entering the country resulted from military reports said a number of these type of weapons have been seized from rebels following recent encounters in Mindanao.

Previously, the rebels have been able to obtain weapons by raiding government armouries or through the local weapons black market.

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz III said that an investigation is being carried out as to how these weapons ended up in the hands of the NPAs.

Some of the AK-47s are reportedly “new” and have defaced serial numbers leaving authorities with very little clues as to its country of origin.

Although there are a number of AK-47s in the country, particularly in Mindanao, most of them are in the hands of combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Most of these rebel weapons, which date back to the 1970s during the Moro conflict, are already unserviceable.

According to the military, the communist rebels are limiting the use of the AK-47 due to lack of ammunition. Unlike its American or Western-manufactured counterparts, the AK-47 round is difficult to come by in the Philippines.

Some of the more modern versions of the AK-47s have also ended up in the hands of certain government officials. The bodyguard of Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Ronald Llamas was caught possessing one following a traffic incident in 2011.

Llamas, who was out of the country when the incident took place in October 7, 2011, reasoned that the weapon was licensed and that he needed it for protection.

13 government soldiers killed in Quezon, Bukidnon

Posted to the CPP Website (Oct 12): 13 government soldiers killed in Quezon, Bukidnon

Ariel Magbanwag (Inda)
NPA South Central Bukidnon Sub Regional Command

Thirteen soldiers of the 8th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army were killed when a unit of the New People’s Army under the South Central Bukidnon (NPA-SCB) Subregional Command employed a command-detonated explosive against them in Sitio Tubod, Brgy. Cawayan, Quezon, Bukidnon, October 6, 2013, around 5:30 PM. Many more soldiers were wounded, while the guerrilla unit implementing the offensive action suffered no casualties.

The 8th IB troops were on combat mission from Kiranggol, San Fernando, to bolster the distressed force of the Butsoy Salusad bandit group in the wake of the recent NPA attack. The Red army has thoroughly monitored their exit route towards Quezon, Bukidnon.

An NPA team swiftly took position and set up a command-detonated explosive in a favorable spot along a road the 53 reactionary soldiers took by foot on their way home. The advance team headed by Nonong Salusad met a barrage of gunfire and a grenade lobbed by the Red fighters, immediately followed by the detonation of the explosive device right on the very spot where the main body of the reactionary troops took cover at the onset of the firefight. The 8th IB troops, fresh from their retraining course, suffered heavy casualties.

That night, they took Zaldy Dejos, a Brgy. Cawayan tanod, by force and ordered him to lead the way for them to the Command Post in Purok Pag-asa, Brgy. Salawagan. Barangay officials and Dejos’ family have complained of the reactionary troops’ use of a civilian guide under duress. The residents also complained of the strafing of Ever Ucab, a farmer caught pasturing his carabao near the place of incident. Ucab is yet to recover from the severe trauma he underwent.

Lt. Norman Tagros, 8th IB spokesperson, denies at every turn when confronted with questions by the local media regarding the incident and their casualties. No amount of the 8th IB’s denial can conceal the truth from the eyes of many barriofolks who did not fail to notice the convoy of two ambulances and two military service vehicles secretly parked near the cemetery in Salawagan. The next day, another striped KIA truck carrying a load covered in tarp was seen coming from the Command Post by residents celebrating fiesta in Salawagan. As is always the case, they deny ever committing violation of international humanitarian law in forcing a barangay tanod to guide their troops and in strafing a civilian. Worst of all, they indiscriminately accused the residents of being NPA supporters and blamed them for the harsh beating suffered by their troops.

The 8th IB’s vain justification of their combat operations in the countryside as a measure to ensure the security of the coming barangay elections is blatantly unconvincing. The fact is they are hell-bent at securing the unhampered small-scale gold mining operations of their cuddled berdugo, Butsoy. Peaceful and orderly conduct of any election can only be ensured without the presence of fascist troops.

Only in NPA base areas can there be a truly democratic election where deception, fraud, vote-buying and terrorism are all non-existent. What exist are organs of genuine people’s government in place of the rotten government presently under the reins of the ruling classes.

Mobile phone signal cut off as Zamboanga celebrates Virgin Mary feast

From the Manila Times (Oct 12): Mobile phone signal cut off as Zamboanga celebrates Virgin Mary feast

ZAMBOANGA CITY –Authorities on Saturday cut off all mobile phone signals for hours in Zamboanga City – scene of deadly street battles between government and rebel forces – to prevent terrorists from using cell phones to detonate bombs.

Zamboanga is celebrating the feast of the Nuestra Señora del Pilar in honor of the Virgin Mary and a long procession was held on Saturday afternoon around downtown area that was occupied by Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels last month.

Security was so tight during the procession that residents were not allowed to carry backpacks. Those who wanted to pray at the shrine of the Virgin Mary at Fort Pilar were searched.

Devotees of the Virgin Mary, many of them clutching rosaries and crucifixes, marched the streets as the procession, led by Mayor Maria Isabelle Salazar snaked through the city.

Military helicopters hovering overhead dropped flowers and confetti over the long procession.

“Our devotion to Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar all through the years has been our beacon of hope amidst the trials and adversities,” Salazar said.

She said that unlike in previous years, the Fiesta Hermosa celebration was a “toned-down affair” because of the MNLF siege that devastated Zamboanga and the widespread flooding brought be a recent typhoon.

“I urge our people to continue reverence to the La Virgen del Pilar to always lead us to Jesus. Our steadfast devotion to the Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar all through the years has been our beacon of hope amidst the trials and adversities. No matter how intricate and complicated the challenges are – we, the good, will always prevail,” Salazar said.

Locals are largely superstitious and attribute all things – good or bad – to the Virgin Mary and other Catholic deities and even a recent typhoon that hit the city was attributed to the gods. Other pray for the rains to stop and when the sky cleared after five days of heavy rains that submerged a huge part of Zamboanga, all praises went to the Virgin Mary and of course, Jesus Christ.

Last month’s fighting killed and wounded over 400 people and resulted in a humanitarian crisis and many of the over 100,000 residents remain in temporary shelters and evacuation areas as security forces finish clearing at least six villages occupied by separatist rebels.

Fort Pilar, where the centuries-old statue of the Virgin Mary is displayed, was hit by several mortar bombs during the fighting.

Peace projects

From the Manila Bulletin (Oct 12): Peace projects

Kidapawan City – Secretary Teresita Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has confirmed that her office received two years ago an approval of priority development projects worth P1.819 billion.

Funds for the projects, according to Deles, were taken from a supplemental fund under the Disbursement Accelerated Program (DAP) in 2011.

Such amount, she stressed, was used to implement priority development projects for communities in Mindanao affected by armed conflict, in line with the existing peace agreements with Moro groups.

Since 2011, least 384 projects were implemented in 199 municipalities and in 35 provinces all over the country, which included farm-to-market roads, bridges, agricultural facilities, communal irrigation systems, potable water systems, and livelihood assistance projects.

Many of these projects, data showed, are located in North Cotabato, Davao del Sur, and in Sarangani where most of the beneficiaries were former combatants of the Moro National Liberation Front – many of them pro-Nur Misuari.

More cops, soldiers fielded to pacify rival MILF groups

From the Philippine Star (Oct 13): More cops, soldiers fielded to pacify rival MILF groups

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines – Police and the military yesterday deployed 200 more uniformed personnel in Talitay town here to beef up security and help pacify two rival guerrilla factions involved in hostilities since Thursday.

Local officials said the two rival groups of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have figured in three encounters that left three guerrillas dead and three others wounded.

The fighting forced hundreds more of ethnic Maguindanaon families to flee their homes. More than a thousand families were dislocated in the first encounter just before noon Thursday.

The skirmishes between the two MILF groups started last Thursday morning with the killing of three security escorts of Talitay Mayor Montasir Sabal in an ambush.

The vice mayor of Talitay, Allan Sabal, said the victims were onboard the mayor’s Toyota pick-up truck which the rebels, led by Buisan Haron of the MILF’s 105th Base Command, fired at with assault rifles, killing the three security escorts on the spot.

Vice Mayor Sabal said the ambushers must have thought that the mayor, who is presently in a pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, was on the vehicle.

The ambushers also fired at the relatives of the mayor’s slain security men when they tried to retrieve the bodies, provoking another firefight.

The victims’ relatives, mostly active members of the MILF’s 106th Base Command, joined the foray and engaged Haron’s group in a three-hour firefight.

On Thursday night, Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu directed Senior Superintendent Rudelio Jocson, provincial police director, to initially deploy three platoons of policemen as buffer between the two feuding groups while the government-MILF ceasefire committee was trying to reposition them away from populated areas in Talitay.

The provincial peace and order council has asked the joint ceasefire committee, police and the military to pacify the two factions to prevent the conflict from affecting the Oct. 28 barangay elections in the area.

Provincial board member Bobby Katambak told The STAR yesterday that Mangudadatu has also asked the government-MILF ceasefire committee to help the provincial office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) formulate measures to ensure peaceful barangay polls in Talitay.

“The effort of the governor is parallel with the conflict resolution protocols bilaterally agreed upon by the government and MILF peace panels,” Katambak said.

He said Mangudadatu has also sought the help of local Muslim clerics in resolving the trouble amicably.

The hostilities have caused the closure of the Comelec office in Talitay since Thursday, preventing aspirants for barangay positions to file their certificates of candidacy.

“Gov. Mangudadatu was saddened by this development. His office and the provincial police are now initiating means of defusing the tension in the area, in coordination with the government-MILF ceasefire committee through the Army’s 603rd Infantry Brigade,” Katambak said.

Col. Noli Orense, commander of the Army’s 603rd IB, which has jurisdiction over Talitay and surrounding towns, said his emissaries have asked the relatives of the ambush victims to refrain from retaliating.

“We want them to leave everything to the police and just let the police file criminal charges against the culprits,” Orense said.

Orense said soldiers from the 68th Infantry Battalion are now deployed in strategic spots in Talitay to prevent the feuding MILF forces from getting close to each other.

US, Philippine Forces End Joint Maneuvers

From the Voice of America (Oct 11): US, Philippine Forces End Joint Maneuvers

U.S. and Philippine Marines board a CH-53 to prepare for a water insertion exercise to practice jumping from the chopper into water for raids and humanitarian assistance, Philippine Marine Base Gregorio Lim, Ternate, Cavite, Sept. 20, 2013. (Simone Orendain/VOA)

U.S. and Philippine Marines board a CH-53 to prepare for a water insertion exercise to practice jumping from the chopper into water for raids and humanitarian assistance, Philippine Marine Base Gregorio Lim, Ternate, Cavite, Sept. 20, 2013. (Simone Orendain/VOA)

More than 2,000 U.S. and Philippine marines finished three weeks of joint amphibious exercises in the northern Philippines Friday, capping the year’s joint training agenda, which officials of both countries hope will be expanded in the near future.  But the U.S. government shutdown has cast a shadow as the two governments talk about more U.S. troop visits to the Philippines.  

The bilateral exercises closed on a day that President Barack Obama was supposed to go the Philippines.  But he canceled his visit because of the U.S. government shutdown.  Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to go in his stead, but Kerry’s trip was canceled Thursday afternoon because Manila was about to be battered by a typhoon.

Despite the nixed trips, Visiting Forces Commission Executive Director Edilberto Adan said the Philippines remains reassured by its partnership with the United States.

“We have our common values.  We want a democracy that is alive.  Both our nations respect the rule of law.  We want freedom of navigation of our seas.  So this alliance is emphasized through these exercises that these two nations remain committed to the purpose, to the objectives, of the Mutual Defense Treaty,” Adan stated.

Negotiators from the Philippines and the U.S. are currently combing through the Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement to work out how the Philippines will accommodate more frequent U.S. troop visits.

The U.S. wants easy access to areas where it could dock ships, land planes and have equipment positioned and ready to use.  Philippine negotiators say the plan fits well with their weak and aging military’s $1.8 billion upgrade program, and add that having more training opportunities with a visible American presence would help form a “minimum credible defense posture.”  The Philippines is in a territorial dispute with China over rocks and outcroppings in the South China Sea, which China claims almost entirely.

While the details of the agreement were being scrutinized by the parties in several rounds of talks in Washington and Manila, marines from both countries carried out exercises in waters near disputed territory.

On a windy Friday in Ternate, Cavite - about 220 kilometers southeast of the contested Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea - a massive CH-53 helicopter whirred above the choppy water of a small beach.  A few dozen marines in full gear jumped out of its belly aiming for rubber boats below.

The troops were practicing entering locations through water for military raids and humanitarian purposes.

This was not the first time Philippine marines practiced the maneuver.  But Philippine Marines spokesman Vince Salmingo said it was an important activity to share with U.S. counterparts.

“The new thing here is as much as possible we try to… avail of a new unit to do this.  Our other guys were able to undergo the same training before," Salmingo explained. "But for this particular exercise… it is going to be a new unit but the same training.”

The pending agreement makes clear that there will be no U.S. bases in the Philippines, which closed down century-old American installations in 1992 under domestic pressure. The Philippine negotiators say they do not expect any doubling of the thousands of troops that come every year for joint activities.  

The Mutual Defense Board, comprised of both countries’ officials, is meeting next week to plan the coming year’s joint exercises.  Undersecretary Adan said they hope to have additional training scheduled under the anticipated agreement.

PH hopes US budget issue won't affect military activities

From ABS-CBN (Oct 11): PH hopes US budget issue won't affect military activities

A Philippine government official expressed hope Friday that the budgetary issue hounding the U.S. government will not affect Washington's military plans in the Philippines.

Edilberto Adan, executive director of the Philippine Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement, told reporters, "It is to the advantage of the two nations to have more training and exercise activities together" as they improve "interoperability and confidence in each other."

Speaking after the closing ceremony of an annual amphibious exercise of the U.S. and Philippine armed forces, Adan said, "We're not anticipating a scaling down or lessening (of activities in the near future)."

He said a meeting between senior military officials of the two countries will take place in Hawaii next week to discuss next year's joint exercises.

The joint drills are part of the Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the United States signed in 1951, which ensures that the two countries will support each other in case of an attack by a third party.

Adan said U.S. President Barack Obama and President Benigno Aquino reaffirmed their commitment to the treaty in a phone call on Oct. 2.

The Philippines and the United States are currently negotiating for an increased rotational presence of U.S. forces in the country and for their expanded access to Philippine military facilities in light of the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region and China's growing assertiveness in the South China Sea.

Marine Commandant Maj. Gen. Romeo Tanalgo and Deputy Commandant Brig. Gen. Remigio Valdez both welcomed the proposed increased rotational presence.

"As the technology evolves, our training objective should also evolve," said Tanalgo, stressing the importance to boost the country's defense capability and ensure that the forces operate effectively in a wide range of tasks from humanitarian assistance to territorial defense.

"We are building the capacity of our personnel. So, we can build the capacities of our personnel through training and exercise with our U.S. counterparts," added Valdez.

In line with the statements made by the Philippine officials, Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy of the U.S. Marines' 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade said in a speech at the closing ceremony that the three-week amphibious exercises that involved around 2,300 U.S. and Philippine personnel "improved our readiness and our ability to respond to humanitarian assistance, disaster relief situations, and regional contingencies together."

Marathon session ends without power-sharing deal

From Rappler (Oct 13): Marathon session ends without power-sharing deal

NO DEAL YET. Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal and panel member Abdulla Camlian. Photo by OPAPP

NO DEAL YET. Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal and panel member Abdulla Camlian. Photo by OPAPP

Despite holding a session for more than 18 hours, the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) failed to agree on how power will be shared between the proposed Bangsamoro political entity and the national government in the 41st round of talks.

The last day of the negotiations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia started at about 10 am Saturday, October 12, and extended until about 5 am Sunday, October 13, in a bid to complete the power-sharing annex. This is one of the two annexes required before the final peace pact can be signed.

At past 1 am Sunday, an MILF source said the panels reached a "technical impasse," with both sides failing to reach a consensus on details regarding the Bangsamoro's ministerial form of government. A technical impasse has to do with how the language of the agreements are formulated.

The panels could not extend another time due to the celebration of the Eid al-Adha.

(Read: Gov't, MILF extend talks for power-sharing deal)

"But very good progress has been achieved in the power-sharing annex including on the possible structure of the new Bangsamoro political entity and the intergovernmental mechanism that can be instituted to ensure coordination and cooperation between the Central and Bangsamoro governments in the exercise of various powers," government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said in a text message.

Power-sharing represents the "heart" of the negotiations, MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal earlier said.

The annex contains the list of powers reserved for the central government, powers exclusive to the envisioned Bangsamoro government, and concurrent or shared powers between the two.

Under the Framework Agreement signed on Oct 15, 2012, the Bangsamoro government would take a ministerial form, where members of the legislature elected by the people would elect a chief minister among themselves.

The negotiations are down to the final details of the peace pact. Also yet to be completed is the annex on normalization, which contains the sensitive issues of decommissioning of arms and disposition of armed forces.

Constricted timeline

Failure to sign an annex in this round constricts the timeline of the Bangsamoro peace process even further – a situation recognized by the panels themselves.

In their joint statement, both sides said they hope to complete the annexes after the Eid al-Adha break.

MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal earlier said the delay is impeding the working timeline of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, the body tasked to draft the Basic Law. Iqbal also heads the commission.

For the government, there's no turning back for the peace negotiations.

Citing a June 2013 Social Weather Stations survey showing that 70% of Filipinos still believe a peace agreement is possible, Ferrer said in her opening statement: "It is evident from these survey results that the key question to many people following up this negotiation is not so much IF we will have a peace agreement, but WHEN."

The government wants the transition from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao towards the Bangsamoro political entity before President Benigno Aquino III steps down from office in 2016.

Both the government and the MILF recognize the urgency of beating this deadline, given the uncertainty of a change in political climate when a new set of officials take over.

Lawmakers earlier said it would be ideal for the Transition Commission to finish drafting the law by the first quarter of 2014 to give Congress enough time to pass the measure.

Once the Basic Law is ratified, the ARMM will be deemed abolished, paving the way for the MILF-led Bangsamoro Transition Authority to take over until the election of Bangsamoro officials in 2016.

This round of talks comes weeks after forces associated with a faction of the MILF’s rival group, the Moro National Liberation Front, attacked Zamboanga City, resulting in a 3-week standoff. The impasse ended with 139 civilian casualties and damaged homes and properties.

(READ: Zambo crisis: The fog of war)

Despite the setbacks, both sides still hope the final peace pact will end the 40-year armed struggle in Mindanao.

‘MNLF’ group charged with rebellion in Zamboanga City

From the Mindanao Examiner blog site (Oct 12): ‘MNLF’ group charged with rebellion in Zamboanga City

Rebellion charges have been filed against 23 alleged rebels who surrendered to the police at the height of fierce fighting between security forces and Moro National Liberation Front members in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines, reports said Saturday.

Quoting Assistant City Prosecutor Glady Bernabe, Solar News reported the group of Commander Usong Ugong, was formally charged on Friday in Zamboanga City.

Ugong’s group surrendered September 17 to Senior Superintendent Jose Chiquito Malayo, then the local police chief, in the village of Mampang in exchange for a safe passage back to Basilan province. Ugong claimed the MNLF under Nur Misuari misled them into believing they would attend a peace rally in Zamboanga, but ended up hiding in the village when fighting erupted.

Malayo was initially reported to have been taken hostage by Ugong’s group, but this had been denied by the police officer who admitted he went to the village to negotiate for the surrender of the rebels. Malayo has been recently sacked.

But other reports claimed Ugong’s group was allegedly paid or working for a politician who sent the gunmen to Zamboanga to pose as surrenderees to demoralize the ranks of the rebel group and as a media propaganda.

Ugong’s group has been separated from over 200 MNLF rebels now being held in the sprawling San Ramon Penal Farm and moved to the overcrowded Zamboanga Reformatory Center for a still unknown reason.

Zamboanga Mayor Maria Isabella Salazar said she will not allow the rebels to go unpunished.

Rebel forces led by Ustadz Khabir Malik stormed several villages in Zamboanga on September 9 and took over 200 people hostage and used them as shield against pursuing soldiers and authorities said almost all captives had been freed or rescued.

The fighting had killed and wounded over 400 people and displaced more than 100,000 people. Malik escaped the military dragnet along with his trusted men and were either in Basilan or Sulu provinces, both strongholds of the MNLF rebels.

Misuari, who signed a peace accord with Manila in 1996, accused the Aquino government of reneging on the peal deal and launched a new rebellion, the second in more than a decade. In 2001, loyal forces of Misuari also attacked military bases in Zamboanga City and Jolo town in Sulu province and the clashes killed over 100 people.

Troops clear almost 50 percent of ‘critical areas’ in Zambo

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 12): Troops clear almost 50 percent of ‘critical areas’ in Zambo
The government security forces have already cleared almost 50 percent of the “critical areas” in this city.

The critical areas include the adjoining barangays of Sta. Catalina, Sta. Barbara, and Rio Hondo, since these were the sites of the heavy fighting during the standoff.

Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) information officer Chief Insp. Ariel Huesca disclosed that at least 1,756 structures were cleared since Day 1 of the clearing operations until Friday, October 11.

The clearing operations started September 29, a day after the standoff was declared over.

The standoff started September 9 when hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels infiltrated this city.

Huesca said the clearing teams have recovered a total of 338 unexploded munitions and 17 assorted high-power firearms during the clearing operations.

Huesca said that they have also recovered and processed through the Police Crime Laboratory a total of 158 cadavers since the first day of the standoff.

He disclosed that 46 of the 158 cadavers were recovered since the start of the clearing operations.

He said three--one rebel and two civilians--of the 46 cadavers were females.

The clearing operations is to ensure the safe return of the residents to their respective places.