ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 19, 2010) – An Abu Sayyaf militant was killed in a clash Sunday with Philippine soldiers in the southern province of Basilan, officials said.
Officials said the fighting erupted at dawn on a village in Lantawan town, a known stronghold of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group blamed for the string of attacks and kidnappings in Mindanao.
Troops also recovered an automatic rifle and munitions from the slain militant – Abdulkarim Sali - whose body was brought to Zamboanga City. But the family and relatives of the slain militant denied he was a member of the Abu Sayyaf.
“Abdulkarim Sali is a wanted Abu Sayyaf member and involved in the kidnapping (of three US citizens and over a dozen Filipinos) in Sipadan,” said First Lieutenant Jinky Perez, a regional army spokeswoman.
Perez was referring to a posh resort in Palawan province the Abu Sayyaf raided in 2001. She said Sali was also involved in several kidnappings in Basilan and included in the government’s wanted list. (Mindanao Examiner)