Wednesday, June 23, 2010

4 killed in Basilan ambush

BASILAN, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 23, 2010) – Four people were killed and six others injured when gunmen opened fire on a public transport on Wednesday in the restive province of Basilan, police told the Mindanao Examiner.

Police said military forces were sent to track down more than two dozen hooded gunmen who were behind the ambush in Maluso town. “We still don’t know who were behind the attack, but military forces were sent to pursue the ambushers,” said Senior Superintendent Antonio Mendoza, the provincial police chief.

He said the gunmen fled after the ambush and no group claimed responsibility for the attack. The town, he said, is a known lair of Abu Sayyaf and Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels blamed for past attacks on civilian and military targets.

“Most of those killed and wounded are civilians,” Mendoza said.
Just early this month, Abu Sayyaf militants killed three men they kidnapped in Basilan’s Sumisip town after their families failed to pay P3 million ransoms.

The trio - Claudio Mananita, Rolando Francisco and Dariel Quintella – were kidnapped on May 27 by Abu Sayyaf gunmen headed by Puruji Indama. Their bodies were discovered by civilians on June 5 in Sukaten village.

Indama’s group was also behind many kidnappings in Zamboanga City and Basilan last year and tagged as behind the series of attacks on government troops in the province.

In April, two government soldiers were wounded in a clash with the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan’s Sumisip town after militants detonated bombs in Isabela City, the provincial capital, and sprayed automatic gunfire on fleeing villagers that left dozens of people dead and wounded. (Mindanao Examiner)

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