Abu Sayyaf attacks civilians in S. Philippines, kills 9: military

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-21 18:31:55|Editor: ying
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MANILA, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Nine people were killed and nine others wounded on Monday when 20 fully armed Islamist Abu Sayyaf extremists raided a remote village in Maluso town in Basilan province in the southern Philippines, the military and police confirmed Monday afternoon.

Chief Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, the police director of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said armed men entered Tubigan village around 5:30 a.m. and started shooting villagers and burning houses.

Military spokesman Army Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay said in a statement that "heavy firefight" ensued between the bandits and local militia men "who were initially surprised of the attack."

Petinglay said the militia men "scampered to get their guns and fight the attackers."

"Heavy firefight ensued forcing the armed group to extricate from the area after almost two hours (of fighting)," Petinglay said, adding that army soldiers and policemen were immediately sent to the village to help the militia men fight the attackers.

Pentinglay said the armed men burned the village's multipurpose hall and five other houses.

Army Col. Juvymax Uy, the commander of the Joint Task Force Basilan, said "the Abu Sayyaf must have been hit hard by our operations over the weekend," prompting them to launch an attack against the civilians.

On Saturday, Uy said that the military overran an Abu Sayyaf camp and an improvised explosive device "factory" in Mangalut village in Akbar town in Basilan.

Abu Sayyaf jihadist group was set up in the early 1990s with money from al-Qaida group. It is one of the Islamic-extremist groups in the Philippines that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State notorious for kidnapping for ransom, bombings and robberies in the southern Philippines.

The Abu Sayyaf bandits have hideouts in the remote impoverished provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.