by Jason Gutierrez Wed Aug 20, 10:30 AM ET
MANILA (AFP) -
A Muslim rebel commander behind deadly raids in the southern Philippines declared on Wednesday an "all-out war" against the government, saying his fighters were willing to die in battle.
Abdurahman Macapaar of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), also known as Commander Bravo, taunted the military and said his mujahedeen, or holy warriors, were willing to engage them in firefights anytime.
"We are prepared to trade fire with them until we are decimated. If they cannot finish us, we will finish them," Bravo said over the Radio Mindanao Network. "We are prepared to kill, we are prepared to be killed."
He said attacks on several Christian towns in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Sarangani on Monday that left 38 dead were led by "mujahedeen" angered by an aborted land deal with the government.
"What the Muslims want is Islamic justice in Mindanao," Bravo said, referring to the country's main southern island where the MILF has been waging a separatist rebellion since 1978.
"In the eyes of Allah we are not terrorists," he said, reacting to accusations by some government officials that he and his rebel unit no longer follow the MILF chain of command.
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