Friday, October 23, 2009

Sayyaf bombs another bridge in South RP

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / October 23, 2009) – Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants bombed a bridge in Sulu province in the southern Philippines in a wave of attacks that had already killed and wounded dozens of soldiers since last month.

Security officials said there were no reports of casualties in the latest bombing in the village of Taung in Patikul town. The attack which occurred late Thursday, damaged half of the Tangan-Tangan Bridge, but it remains passable, said Marine Major Ramon David Hontiveros, a regional military spokesman.

“Civilians at the locality disclosed that the blast caused partial damage to half of the bridge, but still passable to any vehicle. We have deployed combat units to pursue the bombers,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Hontiveros blamed Abu Sayyaf militants tagged as behind the spate of bombings and terrorism in the troubled southern region.

Early this week, militants also bombed a bridge a communication relay tower in Parang town and cutting off phone services in Sulu. The Abu Sayyaf also detonated a roadside bomb and killing a patrolling marine soldier and wounding two others in Patikul town.

The Abu Sayyaf also tried, but failed to bomb another bridge on Tuesday in Indanan town after troops recovered two improvised explosives.

Security forces were battling Abu Sayyaf and Moro rebels in the province since September and had so far left dozens of casualties from both sides, including two members of the US Special Forces aiding the military in defeating terrorism in Sulu.

Fighting broke out after the military aided by US intelligence, mounted fresh offensives against the Abu Sayyaf and Moro rebels in Indanan town. The offensive coincided with the Muslim celebration of the Eid al Fit’r, which started on the day after Islam’s holiest month of Ramadan.

Rebel forces also attacked a major military base in the capital town of Sulu. It was the second time in eight years that rebels attacked the camp, where US troops have put up a small forward base. Some 600 US troops under the Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines are aiding the Philippine military in defeating terrorism in the region. (Mindanao Exasminer)

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