Philippine troops capture one of Abu Sayyaf's camps, kills at least 1 militant

16:40, March 28, 2010      

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Philippine government troops launched an air and artillery strike on Friday against the Abu Sayyaf group, capturing one of its camps in southern Philippines, Philippine military officials said on Sunday.

The assault came when ground troops attacked the lair of Abu Sayyaf leader Radullan Sahiron Friday shortly before noon at Barangay (village) Kanbaddal, Patikul town, in Sulu Province and the gunbattle went on until the afternoon.

The body of a killed Abu Sayyaf militant was recovered while undetermined others were reportedly taken by the militants who withdrew following the intense military attack.

Two soldiers were wounded in the ensuing fighting, Philippine Armed Forces' Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Ben Dolorfino said.

The military said the operation was intense as it deployed two MG520 helicopter gunships that conducted air support and unleashed artillery fire towards the Abu Sayyaf group position.

The intense attack forced the Abu Sayyaf to retreat towards the forested mountains of Patikul with their casualties, Dolorfino said.

He said the troops penetrated the camp late in the afternoon of Friday, destroyed the foxholes established in the camp and discovered a shallow grave where a slain Abu Sayyaf member was recovered.

The two wounded soldiers were immediately evacuated, and were described to have only sustained minor injuries.

The troops also recovered two rounds of 57 rocket launcher ammunition, assorted ammunition and one improvised explosive devise (IED), Dolorfino said.

The assault was a result of the fresh order of newly installed Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Delfin Bangit to intensify the offensive for two months against the militants.

Fresh troops deployment were also conducted to augment the present strength of the military forces running after the Abu Sayyaf militants who have been operating with the elements of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) in Sulu island.

Source: Xinhua
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