Philippines says arrests key Islamic militant

  • World
  • Saturday, 02 Dec 2006

By Paul Tait

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine security forces have arrested one of the founding members of a radical Muslim group suspected of involvement in the country's worst terrorist attack, a marine spokesman said on Saturday. 

Feliciano Delos Reyes, who jumped bail after being arrested in 2002, was captured on Thursday on the southwestern island of Basilan, the spokesman said. 

Reyes' arrest follows the capture last year of leaders belonging to the Rajah Solaiman Movement. The group now has only around 30 members compared to around 100 followers three years ago. 

The Rajah Solaiman Movement, along with another Philippine terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, was blamed for killing more than 100 people in a ferry bombing near Manila in 2004. 

In addition to RSM and Abu Sayyaf, the Philippines has two other Muslim rebel groups which are seeking autonomy in the south of the archipelago. The Southeast Asian country is also fighting a communist insurgency. 

Rajah Solaiman was the last Muslim ruler of Manila whose kingdom was destroyed by Spanish colonisers in the 16th century. 

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