Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Police post attacked in South RP

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / September 29, 2009) – Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants attacked a police post Tuesday in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, where security forces are battling the group blamed for the spate of terrorism in the restive region, officials told the Mindanao Examiner.

Police said an improvised explosive was used in the attack in the village of Kasanyangan, but there were no reports of casualties. “This is the handiwork of the Abu Sayyaf. We have tightened security in the villages to prevent future attacks,” said Chief Inspector Usman Pingay, commander of police forces in the capital town of Jolo.

He said the explosion occurred at around 10.30 a.m. and targeted the command post of the Regional Mobile Group. The attack occurred three days after policemen killed an Abu Sayyaf militant, Karim Juldani, and captured another Albashir Adjili, in a firefight in Jolo town.

The two, Pingay said, were trying to sneak into Jolo when policemen stopped them near a checkpoint. He said police seized weapons from the two men.

Pingay ordered additional checkpoints around the town and appealed to citizens to stay vigilant and report to the police or military suspicious persons in their area.

“We must defeat terrorism. Citizens should stay vigilant,” he said.

The attack occurred just as troops continue their operation against the Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya militants tagged as behind the series of bomb attacks and kidnappings for ransom in Sulu, one of five provinces under the troubled Muslim autonomous region.

Fighting in Sulu between troops and militants had killed 42 people, including eight marines who were ambushed by the Abu Sayyaf in Indanan town last week. Nine soldiers were also wounded in the attack.

The Moro National Liberation Front, which signed a peace deal with Manila in September 1996, accused the military of attacking its forces in Sulu’s Indanan town. It said troops shelled one of its camps, killing two of its members and wounding 8 more.

The military’s Western Mindanao Command denied the accusations and said the offensive targeted the militant groups – the Abu Sayyaf and the Jemaah Islamiya – adding, two of its feared terror leaders Mauiya and Quayem are being protected by the Abu Sayyaf.

Madarang Sali, deputy supreme commander of the Bangsamoro National Liberation Front, said military offensive against the MNLF still continues in Sulu. “Up to this time, the military offensive is going on,” he said on Tuesday.

He said government operations were directed as MNLF leader Khaid Ajibunm who had escaped a military raid last week. (With a report from Geo Solmerano)

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