Eight militants dead in Philippines clash

2015-02-07 09:55
Philippine police commandos carry the flag-draped coffins of their fallen comrades from C-130 planes shortly after arriving at a military base in Manila. (Ted Aljibe, AFP)

Philippine police commandos carry the flag-draped coffins of their fallen comrades from C-130 planes shortly after arriving at a military base in Manila. (Ted Aljibe, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Zamboanga - Eight members of an al-Qaeda-linked group of Philippine militants have been killed in clashes with security forces in the country's south, the military said on Saturday.

Thirteen members of a counter-terrorism task force were also wounded in the fighting with the Abu Sayyaf group on the remote island of Jolo on Friday, said the government unit's spokesperson Ensign Chester Ramos.

He said the eight Abu Sayyaf dead were followers of Radullan Sahiron, a one-armed militant who has a $1m bounty on his head put up by the US government, which considers the group a "foreign terrorist organisation".

Ramos said Sahiron's group of about 100 gunmen had been skirmishing with the counter-terrorist task force around the Jolo town of Patikul over the past week, during which six other soldiers were earlier wounded.

The Abu Sayyaf, set up with seed funds from al-Qaeda in the early 1990s, has been blamed for many of the deadliest militant attacks in the Philippines, including the 2004 firebombing of a ferry on Manila Bay that claimed more than 100 lives.

US military advisers

The group, mainly based in the Muslim-populated areas of the southern Philippines, has also been involved in high-profile kidnappings of foreign tourists and Christian missionaries.

Another key leader of the group of several hundred militants posted video footage of himself and other gunmen in 2014 pledging allegiance to Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq.

US military advisers have been providing training and intelligence inputs on Jolo and nearby areas since 2002 to Filipino troops fighting the Abu Sayyaf.

The latest violence comes after 44 police commandos were killed by other Muslim guerrilla groups in another area of the southern Philippines in January while on a mission to catch two top militants, Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir and Filipino Abdul Basit Usman.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation reported earlier this week that samples collected by the Filipino forces from one of the dead bodies in the fighting matched those of a relative of Zulkifli.

Read more on:    philippines

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.