Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The End of the Road

KM mails to say that the Philippine police have stormed the prison the Abu Sayyaf  had taken over in a failed jailbreak. Reuters says seventeen prisoners died in the assault, crucially including three of the top Abu Sayyaf honchos.

Philippine police have shot dead 17 prisoners as they stormed a jail in Manila to end a day-long stand-off with a group of Islamic militants who had snatched weapons from guards and killed three of them. ... Tear gas still shrouded the building as television showed hundreds of prisoners milling around on the top floor. Reyes said Alhamser Limbong, alias "Kosovo", Ghalib Andang, alias "Commander Robot", and Najdmi Sabdula, alias "Commander Global", were among the Abu Sayyaf leaders killed.

Although I can't prove it my own unfounded instinct says that the Philippine cops have made sure the Peace Lobby and the human rights lawyers aren't going to be taking these Abu Sayyaf commanders to any more press conferences. Of course, since the three top Jihadis, experienced men all,  would have wielded the three firearms known to have been seized from the guards and five elite policemen were injured in the shootout, the cops can plausibly argue they used proportionate force.