Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Filipino, US troops honor slain marines in Zamboanga City

Philippine marines in Zamboanga City carry Wednesday, September 23, 2009 the coffin of one of eight soldiers killed in a clash with Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya militants in Sulu province. (Mindanao Examiner Photos)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / September 23, 2009) – Philippines and US troops honored Wednesday seven Filipino marines killed in fierce clashes with Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya militants in the southern province of Sulu.

The caskets of seven of eight soldiers killed in Tuesday fighting were paraded in military camps in Zamboanga City, where Filipino and American troops paid their last respects.

A group of US soldiers were spotted saluting with Filipino troops as hearse of the soldiers arrived at the Western Mindanao Command. The caskets were later brought to a chapel inside a Filipino naval base where a chaplain said a requiem.

Soldiers also paid their last respect for their fallen companions. “This is reality here. We have to risk our lives to save others. We are soldiers,” one marine said.

Marine spokesman Major Ramon David Hontiveros said operations to capture Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya militants continued on Wednesday in Sulu province.

US Special Forces were aiding the Philippine military in the hunt for militants, according to Major General Benjamin Dolorfino, chief of the Western Mindanao Command.

He said the US military is providing intelligence to the local troops in the hunt for the Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya militants in Sulu.

Dolorfino said troops were tracking down at least four most senior Abu Sayyaf leaders – Dr Abu, Albader Parad, Isnilon Hapilon and Yasser Igasan – including two foreign Jemaah Islamiya terrorists Mauiya and Quayem and some 200 followers.

Mauiya, believed to an Indian national, was among those previously tagged by the Philippine authorities as behind the kidnappings early this year of three international Red Cross workers in Sulu. But little is known about Quayem.

Dolorfino said at least 34 Abu Sayyaf militants and 8 soldiers were killed in the fighting since Sunday in the hinterlands of Indanan town. Among those killed was an Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Ustadz Muktar, a cousin of Hapilon, who is wanted by the US for terrorism.

US Special Forces are deployed in Sulu province since 2006 and assisting the local military in defeating the Abu Sayyaf. (Mindanao Examiner)

1 comment:

ric_atencia said...

Be good and honorable to see the photos of these brave men who gave their lives for the maintenance of peace and order in our dear land!

May God Almighty blessed their souls and that they may rest in peace!