4 soldiers killed, 10 wounded in Philippine rebel ambush

By Xinhua,

Manila : Four navy soldiers were killed and 10 others were hurt in an ambush initiated by suspected members of Abu Sayyaf group in southern Philippines early Saturday, local media reported.

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Citing information from the Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, local news network ABS-CBN News said bandits fired mortars towards military headquarters in Patikul town for ten minutes before engaging in a gunfight with soldiers.

The Wesmincom said it received intelligence reports that the ambush was led by Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron and a certain Juhurin Hussein.

The wounded have been sent to a local hospital and teams have been dispatched to pursue the bandits.

No group has claimed responsibilities over the incident and there is no confirmed report of casualty on the rebel side.

The ambush came when government troops clashed with the country’s largest Muslim rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front after the peace negotiations hit a major roadblock. Hundreds of thousands of local residents have fled homes in this month’s skirmishes.

The Abu Sayyaf, a less than 400 members group, is considered an international terrorist organization by the United States government. The group is blamed for a series of bloody attacks in the past few years. However, its influence and size shrank under the government’s stepped up operations.