Security Tightens as Violence Erupts in Southern Philippines

Security Tightens as Violence Erupts in Southern Philippines

KUDAT, Malaysia -- A recent escalation in violence on the troubled Philippine island of Mindanao has led Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia to tighten international security across their maritime borders, and threatened to undermine U.S.-led peace efforts.

From Kudat on the northern tip of Malaysian Borneo, south to Sulawesi in Indonesia and eastwards to the strife-torn southern Philippines, authorities have clamped down in response to mounting casualties, after a truce between the Philippine government and separatist Muslim rebels collapsed last year.

Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur were to deploy battalion-force strength to their border areas, while Manila rolled out a plan to renegotiate with rebels, a nod to Washinton's concerns over a possible resurgence in radical Islamic militancy in the southern Philippines.

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