Philippine military chief General Victor Ibrado visited Monday, June 15, 2009 in Zamboanga City the 17 soldiers wounded in fierce clashes with Abu Sayyaf militants in Sulu province. He also viewed the remains of 7 others killed in the clash. (Mindanao Examiner Photo / Jung Francisco)
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 15, 2009) - Philippine military chief General Victor Ibrado visited Monday in Zamboanga City government troops wounded in fierce clashes with Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern Sulu province.
He also viewed the remains of seven more soldiers killed in the fighting last week in Sulu's Indanan town. Ibrado said security forces were pursuing Abu Sayyaf militants blamed for the spate of kidnappings and terrorism in the troubled south.
The fighting, which began on Friday, also left at least 8 militants killed, according to the military.
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding an Italian Red Cross worker, Eugenio Vagni, who was kidnapped January 15 along with Swiss national Andreas Notter and Filipino Mary Jean Lacaba.
Both Notter and Lacaba had been freed after a series of negotiations, but there were suspicions that ransoms had been paid to the kidnappers for the release of the two aid workers.
The Red Cross said no ransom was paid for the freedom of Notter and Lacaba. (With a report from Jung Francisco)