Clash with Abu Sayyaf leaves 11 dead in Basilan
Philippine security forces clashed with Muslim
terrorists extremists Thursday, killing seven soldiers and four terrorists militants. Elite rangers battled members of the Abu Sayyaf group on the southern island of Basilan, with three soldiers and two terrorists insurgents also injured in the clash.
The Abu Sayyaf gunmen had initially attacked workers at a rubber plantation on the island and the military had rushed to the scene to repel them. Helicopter gunships were deployed to support the troops.
Regional military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang said, "The fighting is taking place in a forested area. Our troops are engaged in an intense running gunbattle."
In previous weeks the same group of Abu Sayyaf fighters have launched similar attacks in Basilan, including an ambush that killed six farm workers and injured 22 on July 11, he said.
The plantation workers' cooperative operating in the area had previously received extortion letters purportedly from the Abu Sayyaf demanding payment of over $1,000 a month in exchange for not being harmed.
Posted by: ryuge