Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Scores killed, wounded in new clashes in Southern Philippines

From the Mindanao Examiner (Apr 30): Scores killed, wounded in new clashes in Southern Philippines

One marine was killed and 18 others wounded in fierce clashes with Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern Philippines, officials said Wednesday.

Officials said the fighting erupted near Buhanginan village in Sulu’s Patikul town after militants led by Abu Sayyaf subleader Jihad Susukan and Jamiri Jawhari ambushed soldiers near a marine base on Tuesday afternoon.

The attack sparked a running gunbattle and military operation continued until early Wednesday with security officials insisting that as many as 14 militants were slain in the fighting, although no cadavers had been recovered in the town.

Philippine military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the Abu Sayyaf was trying to regain a jungle base in Patikul captured by the marines on Monday following a massive assault.

Marine Captain Maria Rowena Muyuela, a spokeswoman for the Western Mindanao Command, said the operation against the Abu Sayyaf is continuing in the town, a known stronghold of the militant group linked by authorities to al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya.

Muyuela said the Monday assault killed a still undetermined number of militants. She said troops have occupied the fortified camp which can accommodate at least 100 people.

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