Armed guards for Asia

Hopes move will counter Abu Sayyaf Group.

Indonesia, Philippines agree on armed escorts for coal barges

By from Hong Kong

It appears there is finally some progress, and efforts are being made to solve the piracy problem in the southern Philippines, with Indonesia saying it will finalize this week the concrete form of a joint security cooperation effort to ensure the safety of Indonesian export barges crossing regional waters with the Philippines, local reports said.

Indonesia’s Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said Manila had given approval to Indonesian Military (TNI) vessels guarding Indonesian barges until they reached Philippine waters, from where a Philippines Armed Forces vessel would escort them to their destination and back into Indonesian waters.

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