SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 21, 2008) – Government soldiers killed a suspected Abu Sayyaf militant in a clash Friday in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, officials said.
Officials said the fighting occurred in the town of Patikul where soldiers tracked down the militant. There were no reports of military casualties.
“One Abu Sayyaf terrorist is killed and we have recovered his weapon, an M16 automatic rifle. We are still ascertaining the identity of the terrorist,” Marine commander, Colonel Natalio Ecarma, said.
The clash broke out during Lent’s holiest day, but Sulu is a predominantly Muslim province where security forces are fighting the al-Qaeda-linked militant group. Aside from the Abu Sayyaf, Filipino authorities said Indonesian Jemaah Islamiya militants are also hiding in Sulu.
Philippine military chief General Hermogenes Esperon said the operation against the insurgents will not stop even on Holy Week. This is the time that Catholics usually devout observance, commemorating the passion and Christ's death on the cross. (Mindanao Examiner)