BASILAN, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / April 28, 2010) – Two government soldiers were wounded in a clash with al-Qaeda-linked militants in the restive province of Basilan in the southern Philippines, officials said Wednesday.
Officials said the fighting erupted on a village called Baiwas in Sumisip town after Scout Rangers crossed path with Abu Sayyaf militants wearing army and marines uniform. It was unknown if there were casualties on the side of the Abu Sayyaf.
“Two of our soldiers are wounded in the fighting, slightly injured,” said Army First Lieutenant Steffani Cacho, a spokeswoman for the Western Mindanao Command.
It was not immediately known whether the gunmen were among the group that was behind a deadly attack in Basilan’s Isabela City that left more than a dozen people dead.
Abu Sayyaf militants disguised as policemen and army troops detonated bombs outside the Santa Isabel Cathedral and the Basilan National High School and opened fire at fleeing civilians on April 13. A third bomb planted at a roadside was detonated by security forces.
The militants escaped after holding several civilians and used them as shield. Some of them were killed, including a policeman who tried to rescue the hostages. (Mindanao Examiner)