Abu killed in Basilan clash PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 15 August 2015 13:46

Army soldiers clashed Friday with Abu Sayyaf guerrillas in Basilan island leaving one guerilla dead.

According to the military, troops conducting combat operations encountered some 15 Abu Sayyaf members in Sumisip town, Basilan province, at around 7 a.m.

Quoting military officials in Basilan, Richard Falcatan, DXNO radio station manager based in Isabela City said an Abu Sayyaf fighter was reportedly killed while three people — including a soldier – were injured in the clash.

Troops are currently conducting pursuit operations on the withdrawing bandits, according to the military.

The clash comes two days after a member of a rebel group fighting for an autonomous Muslim region was killed in an encounter when the army’s special forces were conducting an operation against the Abu Sayyaf in the hinterlands of Basilan’s capital, Isabela City.

ABS-CBN cited a statement from Capt. Roy Vincent Trinidad, chief of staff of the region’s Joint Task Force ZamBaSulTa, as saying the soldiers were attacked by several armed men Wednesday and fought back until the assailants withdrew.

Trinidad said the 104th Brigade’s commander had coordinated with the chairman of the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities to inform the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) – which signed a 1996 peace deal with the government – about the incident.

The MNLF is internationally recognized by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), but some of its factions are opposed to an ongoing peace process between the government and its breakaway group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

In September 2013, a group led by Nur Misuari laid siege to Zamboanga City following an MILF-government peace deal, which he claimed is a betrayal of the 1996 OIC-brokered agreement, has left his organization shortchanged, and granted Muslims in the region lesser autonomy.

The Abu Sayyaf also broke away from the MNLF, and has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortion since the 1990s in a self-determined fight for an independent Islamic province in the Philippines.

Armed with mostly improvised explosive devices, mortars and automatic rifles, it is notorious for beheading victims after ransoms have failed to be paid for their release.

Earlier this week, the group beheaded the village chief of Aliguay Island, who was kidnapped alongside two coast guard personnel in May.

Authorities believe the Abu Sayyaf is still holding several hostages in the island province of Sulu, including a mayor, a public school teacher, the grandson of a mayor from a local political clan and a Dutch birdwatcher kidnapped in 2012.