Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sayyaf bombs bridge in south RP

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / October 17, 2009) – Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants blasted a bridge Saturday in the southern Filipino province of Sulu, where US-backed soldiers are fighting the group tied to al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya, officials said on Saturday.

Officials said the dawn attack on a bridge in Talipao destroyed one of its two lanes and no group has claimed responsibility for the latest bombing blamed by the military to the Abu Sayyaf group under Albader Parad.

“This is another despicable act of economic sabotage that terrorists have inflicted on our peace-loving fellow Filipinos in Sulu,” Marine Major Ramon Hontiveros, a regional military spokesman, told the independent regional newspaper, the Mindanao Examiner.

On Wednesday, Abu Sayyaf militants also bombed a bridge and a communication relay tower of telecom giant Smart Communications in the town of Indanan.

The bombing destroyed disrupted vital mobile communications and Internet service in Sulu, one of five provinces under the restive Muslim autonomous region.

The attackers also bombed the Talatak Bridge in Bato-Bato village in the town making it impassable to vehicles. The bridge connects the town to other areas in the province and is frequently used by the military in the deployment of soldiers fighting the Abu Sayyaf and Moro rebels.

The bridge was also bombed twice since last month by militants and Moro rebels and had been repaired by army engineers recently. It was also the same bridge where rebels ambushed a military truck and killing a soldier earlier this month.

Sporadic clashes in Sulu since September had already killed dozens of gunmen and soldiers, including two members of the US Special Forces after the military launched attacks against the Abu Sayyaf and Moro National Liberation Front rebels during the Eid Fit’r, one of the most important Muslim celebrations after the holy month of Ramadan. US troops are deployed in Sulu since 2006 and helping the military defeat terrorism.

The MNLF has declared a holy war or jihad against the military for disrespecting the Eid celebration. (Mindanao Examiner)

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