Seven soldiers killed in southern Philippine clash

14:29, July 28, 2011      

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Seven government soldiers were killed in a clash between Philippine troops and the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group in the southern Philippine province of Sulu on Thursday.

According to Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesman for the Armed Forces' Western Mindanao Command, the encounter between the 11th Marine Battalion Landing Team and Abu Sayyaf under Raidula Sahiron and Isnilon Hapilon, occurred at 4:30 a.m. local time in Patikul town.

Sahiron and Hapilon are wanted by the U.S. and Philippine government for kidnapping and bombing attacks.

Cabangbang described the fighting as "fierce", which inflicted heavy casualties on the military forces.

Apart from the seven fatalities, 21 soldiers were wounded in the encounter. There's no report yet on Abu Sayyaf's casualties.

Cabangbang said his office has already received request from Brig. Gen. Romeo Tanalgo, Sulu Island Commander, for help in evacuating wounded and dead soldiers.

The encounter was described as the biggest since the military launched offensive this year against the group while in search of the remaining four hostages, including an Indian and a Malaysian national, and two Filipino fishermen.

Source:Xinhua
 
 
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