2 Sayyafs dead in police raid in Zamboanga

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: Police commandos raided an Abu Sayyaf hideout and killed 2 militants in a firefight early Monday in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines, officials said.

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Officials said the fighting also wounded one commando in the village of Santa Maria where six militants were also captured by the police. The wounded policeman was rushed to hospital. It was not immediately known if his wounds are life threatening or not, but he was shot by militants during the raid.

The commandos were part of a composite police force sent to serve the arrest warrants against the gang tagged as behind the spate of kidnappings for ransom in Zamboanga and other areas in western Mindanao.

Inspector Joseph Ortega, a regional police spokesman, said commandos also recovered four .45-caliber pistols and three fragmentation grenades from the hideout.

“We are still interrogating those arrested to determine the extent of their criminal operation. Two gunmen were killed by police forces in the firefight,” he told The Manila Times.

He said the operation was launched following a long surveillance by the police. At least 7 police units were involved in the operation. Police did not release the names of those captured, but other reports said among them was a policeman. It was unknown if any of the gang’s leaders were among those arrested. AL JACINTO

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