[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Philippine troops shell rebel camp
Troops step up offensive against Muslim fighters in the south.
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2007 05:51 GMT
Government forces have vowed to step up attacks after last week's beheadings [Reuters]

Philippine government forces have stepped up an offensive on the southern island of Jolo, shelling a camp thought to be used by the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group and a rogue rebel leader.
Local TV images showed a row of army artillery guns firing toward a mountain hide-out, where officials said a local Muslim separatist commander, blamed for recent clashes with government troops, had joined forces with the Abu Sayyaf.
The offensive comes a week after seven Filippino hostages captured by the Abu Sayyaf were beheaded.
 
The decapitated remains of the construction workers, including two teenagers, were delivered to army bases on Jolo.
 
The situation on Jolo, scene of years of clashes between the government and Abu Sayyaf, recently became more complicated after Habier Malik, a commander with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), turned his guns on troops despite a 1996 peace agreement.
 
The military responded by capturing two of Malik's camps and scattering his 300-400 armed followers, who officials said took shelter with remaining Abu Sayyaf fighters.
 
The MNLF, one of three rebel groups in the country, signed a peace deal with the Philippine government in 1996.
 
Malik and the MNLF had been helping government troops and their US advisers flush out members of the Abu Sayyaf and regional terror network Jemaah Islamiah from Jolo's forests.
 
The military, which had already launched airstrikes against Malik, triggering mass evacuations and criticism from Muslim nations, vowed to step up its offensive against the Abu Sayyaf.
 
But analysts fear that the military's fierce campaign against the MNLF could disrupt local support for its campaign against the Abu Sayyaf and bury any hope of salvaging the 1996 peace deal.
 
It could also foster increased cooperation between the MNLF and the Abu Sayyaf, they say.
Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.