20 Abus killed in Sulu, Basilan clash PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 21 August 2015 17:52

Government troops clashed with Abu Sayyaf militants Basilan and Sulu leaving 20 of the rebels dead even as fighting continued to rage, the military said Wednesday.

The latest and fiercest battle took place in Indanan town, Sulu, where troops, seeking to rescue Abu Sayyaf hostages, ran into some 100  gunmen, said Brigadier General Alan Arrojado, commander of the island’s military task force.

Fifteen Abu Sayyaf were killed in the fighting as the military used artillery barrages to drive off the rebels’ reinforcements, he told reporters.a

There were no reports of casualties on the military side,” Arrojado added.

In Basilan, patrolling soldiers ran into a band of Abu Sayyaf guerrillas on Tuesday, sparking two days of clashes that left five gunmen and one soldier dead, a military report added.

Both Basilan and Jolo are known strongholds of the Abu Sayyaf, a loose band of several hundred armed men that was founded in the 1990s with seed money from the Al-Qaeda network of Osama Bin Laden.

The group often resorts to kidnappings for ransom, targeting foreigners when possible, sometimes beheading its captives if ransom is not paid.

The Abu Sayyaf is currently holding at least seven hostages, according to the military. — AFP