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Slaughter in the Philippines

Home of some of the longest running insurgencies, the Philippines saw a horrific massacre this week.

AMPATUAN, Philippines – The Philippine president placed two southern provinces under emergency rule Tuesday as security forces unearthed more bodies, pushing the death toll to 46 in some of the deadliest election violence in the nation's history.

Police and soldiers found 22 bodies in a hillside mass grave Tuesday, adding to the 24 bullet-riddled bodies recovered near the scene of Monday's massacre in Maguindanao province, said Chief Superintendent Josefino Cataluna of the Central Mindanao region.

This southern region of the Philippines is wracked by violent political rivalries, in addition to a long-running Islamic insurgency, but the killings have shocked this Southeast Asian nation. One adviser to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has described the massacre as the worst in the country's recent history. A media rights watchdog also says that it appears to be the world's worst mass killing of journalists, with as many as 20 reportedly among the dead.

The area where this happened is a semi-autonomous Muslim region, and this deal seems to be working out as well as the ones the Pakistanis have been making. It apparently stems from a reaction to a challenger filing to oppose the current leader and a long standing feud between two major families in the region. It is a problem for the government as the suspected killers are allied w/ President Gloria Arroyo.

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