23 Filipinos Killed in Ramadan Assault

At least 23 people are dead following a roadside assault on Filipino villagers who were making their way south on Monday to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Fifty civilians were ambushed in a coastal village in the impoverished Sulu district, about 500 miles south of Manila, by militants belonging to the Abu Sayyaf group, who were armed with assault rifles. Among the victims was a 3-year-old boy and his father. This marked the Abu Sayyaf militants’ bloodiest attack in recent memory. Abu Sayyaf’s motives are unclear, but it is one of four Muslim groups that were not part of a landmark peace deal signed in March. The group is holding 10 people hostage, including two German tourists, and a Dutch and Swedish birdwatcher kidnapped two years ago. “This is un-Islamic and very satanic,” said Abdusakur Tan Tan, vice governor of Sulu. “After going through the holy month of Ramadan, even animals could hardly inflict damage of such magnitude.”