• Sayyaf gunman killed in Sulu town


    ZAMBOANGA CITY: Philippine military officials said one Abu Sayyaf rebel was killed in a brief clash in the southern town of Patikul.

    Officials said troops were patrolling the town when they ran into a group of Abu Sayyaf gunmen and a firefight ensued. There was no report of military or civilian casualties in Saturday fighting.

    Troops were not able to recover the body of the slain gunman because officials claimed the cadaver was allegedly taken by fleeing rebels.

    No other details were made available by the military about the clash or whether the Abu Sayyaf group involved in the fighting was behind the spate of kidnappings and terrorism in the region.

    On Friday, troops also battled about 60 Abu Sayyaf rebels who killed two soldiers and wounded 28 others in Basilan, one of five provinces under the troubled Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.

    The military said 12 rebels were killed in the fierce clashes, but none of the bodies had been recovered by soldiers and security officials admitted the casualty report came from civilians in the towns of Ungkaya Pukan and Tipo-Tipo where the fighting erupted.

    There was no military confirmation of the report. AL JACINTO


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