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Abu Sayyaf militant killed in S Philippines

(Xinhua)

13:43, August 08, 2011

Government security forces killed an Abu Sayyaf militant as they clashed Sunday in the restive southern Philippines, a military official said Monday.

Government troops were on a patrol mission in Bungkaong village, Patikul town in Sulu province shortly before 9:00 a.m. Saturday when they encountered undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf militants, said Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, a regional military spokesman.

A 15-minute gun battle ensued, leaving a militant killed and a soldier wounded, Cabangbang added.

Late last month, soldiers encountered Abu Sayyaf gunmen in the same town. Seven soldiers, including a junior marine officer, were killed and 26 others were wounded in the encounter.

The Abu Sayyaf, active in southern Philippines, was founded in the 1990s and has perpetrated a number of high-profile attacks, including kidnapping, bombing and beheading. The Philippine military estimates the Abu Sayyaf, which has links with external terrorist organizations such as al-Qaida, currently has less than 400 members.

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