Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Militants kill 2 Filipino navy commandos in clash

Militants kill 2 Filipino navy commandos in clash

Navy commandos launched an attack on a coastal stronghold of al-Qaeda-linked militants in the southern Philippines, drawing fire from the Abu Sayyaf gunmen that left two navy men dead, officials said yesterday.
Some of the navy men were still disembarking from speed boats when the militants discovered the nighttime raid in Muhammad Ajijul township on Basilan island Tuesday.
The ensuing gunbattle killed two navy personnel and wounded another, regional military commander Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino said.
Several Abu Sayyaf gunmen were believed to have been wounded or killed, Dolorfino said, adding the militants fled into a forest and were being pursued by troops.
The commando attack was part of a massive military campaign to capture several Abu Sayyaf militants and members of the larger rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, who escaped from Basilan's provincial jail last Dec. 13 with the help of fellow insurgents. At least one militant who escaped had been killed while another was captured.
Rear Admiral Alex Pama, a regional navy commander, said the attack on the Abu Sayyaf lair was also aimed at pressuring the militants into freeing two Chinese men who were kidnapped recently from a plywood factory in Basilan.
The military learned that Abu Sayyaf militants led by a ruthless commander, Furuji Indama, had planned to meet with Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas in the coastal hinterlands near Muhammad Ajijul in Basilan, a predominantly Muslim island about 880km south of Manila, and planned an attack, Pama said. "We were unlucky," Pama said.
The Abu Sayyaf, which has been blamed for beheadings, kidnappings and bombings, has survived years of massive U.S. military-backed crackdowns and is still considered a major security threat despite many battle setbacks.
It has been suspected of receiving funds and training from al-Qaeda and is believed to have less than 400 fighters on Basilan and nearby Jolo island and the Zamboanga peninsula. The group has also been sheltering militants from the larger Southeast Asian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, the military says.


Updated : 2021-07-28 11:45 GMT+08:00