BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Chinese Vietnamese Burmese Thai Indonesian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Asia-Pacific  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 12:44 GMT
Manila expels Iraqi diplomat
Security forces in Zamboanga after the bombing
The row centres on a rebel attack last year

The Philippine Government has ordered an Iraqi diplomat to leave the country over his alleged contacts with a Muslim rebel group.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Blas Ople accused Husham Hussein of having links with Abu Sayyaf, which the United States classes as a terrorist organisation.

Mr Ople said his government considered Mr Hussein "undesirable", and gave him 48 hours to leave the country.

The foreign secretary had previously complained about Mr Hussein to Iraq charge d'affaires Samir Bolus, but the Iraqi embassy denied the diplomat had done anything wrong.

In a statement on Monday the embassy insisted "no one of its staff did or will do any kind of communications with dissident groups".

This is the second time an Iraqi diplomat has been expelled from Manila. In 1991, Jasim Al-Ani was ordered to leave the country over alleged links to terrorists accused of setting off a bomb in a US-run library.

Bomb attack

Mr Hussein "has ceased to enjoy the rights and privileges of a diplomat of the embassy of Iraq", Mr Ople said on Wednesday.

The case against him centres on a bomb attack in October 2002 in the southern city of Zamboanga.

The police blame Abu Sayyaf for the bombing, which killed an American serviceman.

The day after the attack, Philippine spies monitored a telephone call to Mr Hussein by a suspected member of Abu Sayyaf.

"I have a very detailed report from our intelligence community and that is sufficient for me to take the necessary action," Mr Ople said on Wednesday.

Details of the call have yet to be disclosed, and there is also no information on why the Philippines are only taking action now, more than four months after the bomb blast.

The Abu Sayyaf group is campaigning for an independent Muslim state in the southern Philippines.

Both Washington and Manila have linked the group to Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, although it is best known for ransom kidnappings.

See also:

20 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
18 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
18 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
17 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
23 Jul 02 | Asia-Pacific
21 Jun 02 | Asia-Pacific
22 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
06 Dec 01 | Asia-Pacific
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes