Matalam Bus Bombing

 Muslim separatist rebels in the Philippines urged the government Monday to retract a statement blaming them for a deadly bus bombing, warning it could undermine peace talks set to resume this month.
Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) spokesman Von al Haq said the comments from Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin were meant to discredit the group ahead of the planned resumption of negotiations.
"That is a public pronouncement that tends to jeopardise the credibility of the MILF and undermine the peace talks," al Haq told AFP by phone from his base in southern Mindanao island.
"We are prepared to sit down with government, but the statement should be retracted first."
Al Haq said the MILF had filed an official protest over the allegations with a joint committee monitoring a ceasefire accord between both sides.

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