Troops Comb Southern RP Island For Sayyaf Terrorists

October 3, 2007 at 6:07 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

Filipino soldiers and family members at a naval base in Zamboanga City pay their last respect Wednesday, Oct. 03, 2007 on four navy commandos who were killed in a fierce firefight with al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf militants on Langhil Island off Basilan province in southern Philippines. Ten militants were also killed and two soldiers wounded in Tuesday fighting. (Mindanao Examiner Photo Service)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 03, 2007) – Philippine troops on Wednesday combed the southern island of Basilan, searching for Abu Sayyaf militants whose group was blamed for the killing of six soldiers.

The Abu Sayyaf, which has links to both the Al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya terror groups, killed four navy seals Tuesday on an island called Langhil near Basilan province, where militants also shot dead four army soldiers and wounded more than a dozen last week.

“We are searching for the Abu Sayyaf. This operation will go on until they are neutralized,” Marine Maj. Gen. Nelson Allaga, commander of the Western Mindanao Command, told the Mindanao Examiner.

Soldiers and family members also trooped Wednesday to a small Catholic chapel inside a naval base in Zamboanga City and paid their last respect to the two slain members of the navy seal. Two others wounded in the fighting remain at a military hospital here.

Admiral Petronilo Magno, commander of the Philippine Fleet on Wednesday arrived here and met with families of those who died. He also spoke to soldiers and visited the wounded.

“This is a sad day, but the fight on terror must not stop. We have a mission to eliminate the Abu Sayyaf and restore peace in the region,” he said in a separate interview.

Magno and Allaga later met with senior military commanders headed by Navy Admiral Emil Marayag, but details of the closed door conference were not made public.

The fighting on Tuesday erupted just a day after US Ambassador Kristie Kenney inspected infrastructure projects funded by the United States Agency for International Development in Basilan island, where a small group of American troops are deployed to help local military defeat the Abu Sayyaf. (Mindanao Examiner)


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