• Sayyaf, Army clash in Basilan

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists on Saturday clashed with government troops in the town of Sumisip in Basilan, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous in southern Philippines.

    The terrorists on that day twice engaged Philippine Army soldiers, one in the morning in the village of Benengbengan, and another later on Saturday in the village of Cabcaban.

    There were no reports of casualties from both sides.

    The ASG bandits managed to escape after the fighting.

    It was unclear who led the terrorists in attacking the soldiers deployed to Sumisip town, where the military frequently holds surrender ceremonies for alleged members of the notorious group wanting to start a new life.

    Dozens of those who surrendered since last year were all freed by the military and even paid money for their weapons, saying the militants – despite being involved in heinous crimes – had no arrest warrants.

    Basilan is a known stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf, blamed by authorities for the spate of terrorism and ransom kidnappings of foreigners in the restive region.

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