SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 21, 2008) – Security forces beefed up patrol in Sulu province in southern Philippines following a clash Friday that killed an Abu Sayyaf militant.
Troops gunned down Nixon Arbison, 19, in a firefight in the village of Pansul in Patikul town. Village leader Basir Asil has identified the Arbison as an alleged Abu Sayyaf member under Juhurim Hussin and Kirrih Hamid Sahiron.
The fighting lasted almost 15 minutes. The clash broke out during Lent's holiest day, but Sulu is a predominantly Muslim province where security forces are fighting the al-Qaeda-linked militant group. Aside from the Abu Sayyaf, Filipino authorities said Indonesian Jemaah Islamiya militants are also hiding in Sulu.
“We beefed up patrol in Sulu because of the fighting. The Abu Sayyaf may retaliate,” one security officer, who asked not to be named, told the Mindanao Examiner.
Philippine military chief General Hermogenes Esperon said the operation against the insurgents will not stop even on Holy Week. (Nickee Butlangan)