• Solar panels found in Sayyaf camp

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    Zamboanga City: Government troops recovered several solar panels from an abandoned Abu Sayyaf camp in Sulu, officials announced on Tuesday.

    Military authorities noted that the militants used the solar panels to recharge cell phones, laptops, and radio transceivers.

    Soldiers also seized soot stained pots and pans, clothing, and rubber boots abandoned by Abu Sayyaf fighters after a bloody firefight in the hinterlands of Talipao and Patikul towns, known strongholds of the al-Qaeda-linked group.

    The military also released photos of the group’s equipment recovered in Sulu. The photos, however, also show ill-equipped soldiers on the front line.

    Fierce clashes in Talipao town on November 14 left five soldiers and ten rebels dead and at least four dozen injured on both sides.

    The bodies of all soldiers slain in the fighting have been sent to their hometowns after troops paid their last respect to the soldiers killed in the gun battle

    Military authorities had confirmed that Abu Sayyaf Commanders Hairullah Asbang and Julie Ekit were killed in the clashes.

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) identified the slain soldiers as Privates First Class Albert Villaluna, Alison Caro, Samuel Taluyan, Joey Blanche and Gabby Achas.

    Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, Westmincom chief, led milita-ry officials in honoring the soldiers in Zamboanga City. AFP chief General Gregorio Pio Catapang also awarded me- dals to the wounded soldiers in Zamboanga City.

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