Abu Sayyaf ambush kills 4 in S. Philippines

19:51, June 23, 2010      

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At least four people were killed while two others were injured as suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits ambushed a passenger jeepney in southern Philippine province of Basilan Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Basilan police chief Senior Supt. Antonio Mendoza identified the four confirmed fatalities as jeepney driver Rodel Weng Circulado, 35; his passengers Salsijan Ampuan Sali, 22; a certain Ibang, 35; and Solis Aspalun, 17.

Members of the Basilan police recovered the bodies of the four, but there was information that a certain Racma, another passenger, was also killed, Mendoza said.

Police, meanwhile, brought Hamid Hasilun, 45, and Nurjid Muhajilun, 10, to the Basilan Community Hospital due to injuries.

"The children were hit in the head while the adults were hacked. This means that the ambushers got near to the victims," Mendoza said.

Initial investigation showed that Circulado was driving the jeep from Isabela City and was ambushed by more or less 30 hooded armed men around 2 p.m. in Maluso, Basilan.

Investigators have yet to determine what group carried out the ambuscade, but Mendoza said they are not discounting the possibility that it was the Abu Sayyaf group.

Abu Sayyaf was founded in the 1990s and had perpetrated a number of high-profile attacks, including kidnapping and bombing. The Philippine military estimates the Abu Sayyaf, which has links with external terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, has about 400 members.

Source: Xinhua


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