10 Abu Sayyaf militants killed in Philippines

This picture released by Malacanang Palace shows Philippine President Gloria Arroyo delivering her message during the convention of the Philippine’s general assembly in a hotel in Manila. At least 10 Al Qaeda-linked militants were killed in the Philippines in intensified operations ordered by Arroyo a day after the military said it had slain their main leader.(AFP/HO)

10 Abu Sayyaf militants killed in Philippines

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (AFP) – At least 10 Al Qaeda-linked militants were killed in the Philippines in intensified operations ordered by President Gloria Arroyo a day after the military said it had slain their main leader.

The fighting on the southern Philippines island of Jolo came shortly after Arroyo pledged to wipe out the Abu Sayyaf group following the reported killing of one of its leaders, Abu Solaiman, in a gunbattle.

The fighting took place when marine troops caught up with a large group of Abu Sayyaf militants near the town of Patikul, the military’s southern command said.

Initial reports from the field said 10 Abu Sayyaf rebels had been killed and two captured, spokesman Major Eugene Batara told reporters here.

The military headquarters in Manila confirmed the clash and said two soldiers had been wounded.

“The relentless pressure we have applied in the field is taking its toll and we will keep it up until all the terrorists and their clandestine cells are accounted for,” Arroyo said in a statement.

She commended troops for the killing of Solaiman, described by the military as the most important leader of the Abu Sayyaf group.

Arroyo said her government would work more closely with the United States to tighten the dragnet and stop the movement of terrorists and funds used by such groups across Southeast Asia.

She said the government was “determined to finish the job with a hand of steel” to pave the way for peace and economic development in the troubled southern region.

Solaiman, also known as Jainal Antel Sali, was killed Monday in a clash with Filipino special forces on Jolo island, where more than 5,000 troops had mounted a months-long manhunt, the military said.

The US government had offered up to five million dollars for the capture of Solaiman, who allegedly masterminded a string of deadly bombings including a 2004 attack on a ferry that killed more than 100 people on Manila Bay.

He is also accused of having planned the kidnap of US Christian missionary couple Martin and Gracia Burnham and Peru-born Californian Guillermo Sobero.

The two men were killed in captivity but Gracia Burnham was later rescued.

The military earlier claimed it had recovered the decomposing body of a man they believed was top Abu Sayyaf leader Khadaffy Janjalani, who was supposedly killed in a clash in September.

US forensics experts are helping Filipino authorities confirm the identity of the corpse. Philippines officials said Solaiman’s presumed corpse would also undergo DNA testing.

Armed forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Bartolome Bacarro said that with the deaths, the Abu Sayyaf was “suffering from a leadership vacuum.”

“We will keep up the tempo, we will continue the conduct of military operation and our end state here is getting really their top leaders and the eventual destruction of the Abu Sayyaf group,” he said.

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  1. OPP says:

    You can kill all the militants you find but more will come. We need to stop trying to cure the symptoms and find the root of it all. Cure what is causing this social disease. The Moros have obviously been oppressed or treated as a second class people by the Christian American Imperialists and its Successors.

  2. Reb_el says:

    hahaha…well, as we usually copy american policy here comes a similar view:

    kill as many as possible, make it look like there is progress…get the public to feel anger towards “insurgents”, and fear against anyone opposing “anti-terrorism” regulations

    so similar to what is in iraq…in order to solve the problem, a country must inflame it worst that it was first…like the american president asking for more troops to kill more of the country…

    in the philippines, the president orders more killings and more fear mongering, and billions of the national budget for military “improvements”…

    As people circle around the problem instead of facing it head-on, the worst it becomes…sorta like lying, the more we add on to the lie to relieve a smaller lie, the more it becomes a bigger problem…instead of facing up and owning up to ones action and solving the problem

  3. OPP says:

    Funny, “freedom fighters” during the Philippine-Spanish/Spanish-American we’re renamed “insurgents” during the Philippine-American war. In fact, it wasn’t even refered as the Philippine American War until the later part of the century. Same exact thing with the Taliban which the CIA helped establish and the U.S. supported in the 80’s and 90’s. Today’s Iraq and soon Saudi. The US knowingly supports the most oppressive Mid East State, Saudi Arabia.

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