Philippine military deploys elite force to pursue Abu Sayyaf

17:40, April 14, 2010      

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Philippine Armed Forces deployed an elite force, which include a company of U.S.-trained counter- terrorists, to Basilan to pursue Abu Sayyaf bandits responsible for Tuesday's attacks in Isabela City that left 14 people dead and several others injured.

Philippine Navy Spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said Wednesday that a company from U.S.-trained Light Reaction Battalion and a company from the First Scout Ranger Regiment arrived in Basilan Wednesday morning to help Marine forces pursue members of Abu Sayyaf group.

Abu Sayyaf bandits, led by Furuji Indama, detonated an improvised bomb, placed on a multi-cab, in Isabela City. This was followed by another explosion of a bomb rigged into a motorcycle at the city's cathedral. A third was recovered near the residence of a judge and was detonated by military bomb experts.

Arevalo said Indama's group was sighted in the outskirts of Lamitan City where the pursuit operations are now focused. Navy vessels were deployed to prevent the possible escape of Indama's group from the island province.

Arevalo said they have received some reports that a group was planning to facilitate the escape of Indama "from the areas where he was sighted where we are conducting the pursuit."

"But what's important here is for us to prevent them from linking up and from joining whatever group that they have to create another round of violence in Basilan," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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