Saturday, January 22, 2011

Troops capture Sayyaf camp in Philippine province

Photos released by the Philippine Army shows mortar bombs and assorted electronic parts used in the manufactured of improvised explosives recovered by troops at an Abu Sayyaf camp in the volatile southern province of Basilan where security forces are battling the militant group blamed for the spate of bombings and killings in the restive region. (Mindanao Examiner)
An army patrol in Basilan province in the southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

BASILAN, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Jan. 22, 2011) – Army soldiers seized an mountain encampment of the militant Abu Sayyaf group tied to al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya in restive province of Basilan in the southern Philippines, officials said Saturday.

Officials said soldiers have recovered explosives and improvised bombs, including various camouflaged uniforms, mobile phones with solar chargers and medical kit inside the camp in the village called Macalang in Al Barka town, also a stronghold of the larger secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels.

Army Brigadier General Nicanor Dolojan, commander of military forces in Basilan, said civilians provided intelligence that led to the capture of the Abu Sayyaf camp.

“This discovery was made possible through the efforts and cooperation of the civilians in the area who are tired of the terroristic activities of the Abu Sayyaf in the province,” he said.

Dolojan said they are still tracking down militant leader Nur Hassan Jamiri who was wounded in a clash with troops in the town.

He said the fighting first erupted Tuesday in the mountain village Kabun Pababag in Tipo-Tipo town after troops also captured an Abu Sayyaf encampment and that clashes spread to Al Barka where some 50 militants headed by Jamiri had fled.

Security officials initially said one soldier was wounded in the fighting, but later died from his chest wounds.

The Abu Sayyaf, also known as “Al Harakat al-Islamiya which means the “bearer of the sword,” is still holding a wealthy Chinese-Filipino trader kidnapped in December in Basilan.

The Abu Sayyaf, which the military said has links with both al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya, has been largely blamed for the spate of terrorism and killings in the southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner)

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