• Military seizes Abu Sayyaf lair in Basilan

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: Backed by a barrage of artillery fire, government forces captured an Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) encampment on Sunday in a hinterland village in the restive province of Basilan in southern Philippines.

    Troops also recovered four automatic weapons left behind by the terrorist group in the town of Ungkaya Pukan.

    The encampment was believed under mid-level commander Puruji Indama.

    Military operations were continuing in the province, just 30 minutes by boat from the port city of Zamboanga in Mindanao.

    The military said it killed an undetermined number of militants before taking their camp but troops had not recovered a single body of a slain Abu Sayyaf fighter.

    On Friday, the bandit group freed one of their six Vietnamese hostages, Hoang Vo, 28, who was recovered by soldiers near Sumisip town of Basilan.

    Vo, a native of Nghệ An province, had a wound on his back and was immediately taken to hospital, according to the military.

    The bandit group hijacked a Vietnamese cargo ship in November last year and seized six crew, including its captain.

    The Abu Sayyaf is also holding over a dozen hostages in the troubled Muslim autonomous region.

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