Wednesday, August 23, 2006

2 Soldiers Slain, 17 More Wounded In Fierce Jolo Clashes

Government soldiers patrol Jolo island, where troops are battling Abu Sayyaf militants. (Mindanao Examiner)

JOLO ISLAND (Mindanao Examiner / 23 Aug) At least 2 soldiers and 17 more were wounded in fierce fighting in Jolo island on Wednesday as security forces battled Abu Sayyaf militants whose group is tied to the Jemaah Islamiya, officials said.

“Two soldiers are dead and 17 are also wounded in today’s clashes. Fighting is raging in Patikul (town’s) hinterlands,” Marine Brig. Gen. Mohammad Dolorfino, deputy commander of the Southern Command, told the Mindanao Examiner.

Soldiers were battling Abu Sayyaf forces in Patikul town since early this morning. A militant was reported killed earlier in the day, but security officials said there could be more Abu Sayyaf casualties.

“We have reports of many casualties. We have intercepted radio reports indicating more Abu Sayyaf were killed and wounded in the fighting,” said Lt. Col. Susthenes Valcorza, a military spokesman.

The fighting began last month after troops attacked suspected lairs of the Abu Sayyaf in Jolo, where two Jemaah Islamiya bombers, Dulmatin and Umar Patek, were believed hiding with the group of Khadaffy Janjalani, chieftain of the Abu Sayyaf.

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