Philippine police have been on alert for car bombs, and found a car loaded with explosives in South Cotabato province.

There is an increased worry about more sophisticated bombs in recent days, especially since several high up leders of Jemaah Ismael have been captured both here in the Philippines and in nearby Indonesia.

ABS CBN notes

There were previous reports about bomb experts of the Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) training terrorists in the country on how to produce car bombs.

With all the attention on the war on terror in Iraq, the press in the US rarely pays attention to the war in the Philippines, which predates 9-11 and has had quite a few recent successes, thanks to the courage of the local Pinoy police and military, combined with economic incentives that have led many local insurgents to make peace with the government and leading to hopes that the major hold out group will soon settle their differences.

Alas, the JI is essentially trying to restart a war that few want.

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket

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