ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 3, 2011) – Two Abu Sayyaf militants were killed and two army soldiers wounded in fierce clashes Sunday in the troubled province of Basilan in the southern Philippines, officials told the Mindanao Examiner.
Officials said the fighting erupted in Sumisip town where security forces are tracking down the Abu Sayyaf group blamed for terrorism and kidnappings for ransom in the volatile region of Mindanao.
“Two Abu Sayyaf were killed in the fighting, and two of my soldiers are wounded,” said Colonel Alex Macario, commander of an army special operations troops in Basilan.
He said the fighting broke out at around 6 a.m. after army rangers attacked an Abu Sayyaf lair. He said troops recovered two M16 automatic rifles, 5 generator sets, camouflage uniforms, and 15 motorcycles and other personal belongings.
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding a Chinese-Filipino trader Larry Tam delos Santos who was kidnapped in December in Basilan’s Isabela City.
And the group is believed behind two more kidnappings which occurred in Zamboanga City and in the town of Titay in Zamboanga Sibugay province and that the victims – Olivia Barredo, 36, and Randy Talania, 9, were taken to Basilan.
Last month, Abu Sayyaf militants barged into the house of a businessman in Basilan and abducted his caretaker, Rolando dela Cruz, after failing to kidnap the trader, Charlie Cawley.
The Abu Sayyaf abandoned their hostage and was recovered safely by pursuing army soldiers. (Mindanao Examiner)