Nine People, Including Three Soldiers, Killed In Southern Philippine Clash

MANILA, Aug 1 (NNN-PNA) – Six suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists and three soldiers were killed in a clash, at a town in the remote southern Philippine Sulu province yesterday, the military said.

Army Major, Arvin Encinas, the spokesperson for the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said, three soldiers were also wounded, when an undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf terrorists opened fire on patrolling troops around 11:00 a.m. local time in Patikul town.

Encinas said, the terrorists fled after a 40-minute firefight. The slain and injured soldiers were taken to a local hospital for treatment, he added.

Major General Corleto Vinluan, commander of the military’s Joint Task Force Sulu, said, troops are now pursuing the terrorists behind the attack.

The Abu Sayyaf Group is considered the smallest but the most violent of the extremist groups in the southern Philippines. The group, which has an estimated 400 fighters, is active in the impoverished island provinces of Sulu and Basilan.

The group is responsible for the series of kidnappings, deadly bombings, ambushes of security personnel, public beheadings, assassinations, and extortion in the Mindanao region.

The group, which has been terrorising the Philippine southern region since the 1990’s, preys on foreign tourists, businessmen and fishermen, not only from the Philippines but also from Indonesia and Malaysia, and hide them in the Philippine jungles or remote islands.– NNN-PNA