Tuesday, November 03, 2009

5 gunmen killed in Basilan clash

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / November 3, 2009) – Government forces clashed with Abu Sayyaf militants on Tuesday and killing five gunmen, including their leader, in the largely Muslim province of Basilan, south of the Philippines, officials said.

Marine Major Ramon David Hontiveros, a regional military spokesman, said a government soldier was also wounded in the fighting on a village called Langgong in Tuburan town.

“Troops recovered two bodies of those killed in the clash, but intelligence reports suggested that three more terrorists were killed,” he told the regional newspaper the Mindanao Examiner.

The military identified the slain leader as Ridwan Musa, however, it was unknown whether his body was among the two cadavers recovered by soldiers.

The fighting lasted more than 30 minutes, but other reports in Basilan said those killed were members of the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which is currently negotiating peace with Manila.

Television reports later on the day quoted police as saying that government militias clashed with the gunmen and that an anti-tank rocket left behind by the band was recovered from the village. (Mindanao Examiner)

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