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The BBC's John McLean
"No new date has been set"
 real 28k

Monday, 21 February, 2000, 05:42 GMT
Philippines grenade attack

A series of bomb and grenade blasts killed one person and injured 18 others late on Sunday in the southern Philippines island of Basilan police said.

The explosions occurred over a 30-minute period, damaging two police stations, a restaurant and a public market in Isabela, the provincial capital.

Police said the dead man was a waiter killed by a grenade blast in a restaurant.

Six policemen were injured in succeeding explosions at the Basilan police headquarters and a local police station. No one was hurt in the bombing of the town market.

Peace talks postponed

The attacks in Basilan coincided with clashes between government forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the bigger of the two rebel groups, in Maguindanao province north of Basilan.

At least 25 people have been killed in the week-long Maguindanao fighting, which has caused postponement of peace talks due to begin on Monday between Manila and the MILF.

The clashes erupted on Wednesday after 3,000 soldiers launched an offensive on the MILF's Camp Omar in Maguindanao province.

The rebels are fighting for an independent Islamic state in the island of Mindanao.

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See also:
23 Feb 99 |  Asia-Pacific
Philippine dream of Islamic state
08 Feb 99 |  Asia-Pacific
Muslim rebels insist on independence
08 Jan 00 |  Asia-Pacific
Philippines reform package shelved

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