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2 gunmen linked to Abu Sayyaf killed in southern Philippines
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13:47, July 05, 2007

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Philippine Marine troops killed two gunmen with ties to the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group in a firefight on Thursday in Basilan province, the southern Philippines, local media reported.

The firefight took place around 9 a.m. after the troops encountered around 20 armed men in Barangay (village) Bohe Bessey in Basilan, chief of the 1st Marine Brigade Ramiro Alivio was quoted by Philippine News Agency as saying.

Alivio said the troops have also recovered two high-powered firearms, M-14 and M-16 rifles, from the slain bandits.

He said they have strengthened intelligence operations following the recent reported landings of armed men in the coast of Basilan.

The Abu Sayyaf is an Islamist terrorist separatist group based in and around the southern islands of the Philippines. The group has carried out bombings, assassinations, kidnappings and extortion in their fight for an independent Islamic state in western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.

Source: Xinhua

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