Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sayyafs, militias clash in Basilan province

Government troops guard a village in Isabela City in the southern Philippine province of Basilan where Abu Sayyaf militants disguised as policemen and soldiers detonated bombs and opened fire on civilians on Tuesday, April 13, 2010. Police say 14 people were killed and many more wounded in the violence – three of them militants who clashed with soldiers. Police say clashes again erupted Wednesday in Isabela City between Abu Sayyaf gunmen and government militias. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

BASILAN, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / April 14, 2010) – Government militias clashed Wednesday with Abu Sayyaf militants tagged as deadly attacks in the southern Philippine province of Basilan, police told the Mindanao Examiner.

Police said the fighting broke out in the village of Begang in Isabela City where the militants disguised as policemen and army troops set off bombs and opened fire on civilians that left more than a dozen people dead.

Senior Superintendent Antonio Mendoza, the Basilan police chief, said militiamen clashed with at least 7 militants who were part of the group that launched attacks on Tuesday.

It was unknown whether any of the militants were wounded in the clash, but they were able to escape towards a rubber plantation where soldiers and policemen have surrounded. One villager was taken hostage by the fleeing gunmen and were using the civilian as shield, Mendoza said.

“Pursuit operation is going. Police and military forces are pursuing the Abu Sayyaf,” he said.

Mendoza said security forces have captured one of the attackers who was wounded in the fighting Tuesday and five more people believed to be supporters of the Abu Sayyaf.

He said a total of 14 people – three of them militants - were killed in the violence in Isabela City.

Police and military have put up checkpoints and road blocks in Isabela to prevent the militants from escaping.

“We have put up checkpoints and road blocks and operations are going on against the terrorists,” he said. (Mindanao Examiner)

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