|07-11-2007, 04:14 AM||#1|
Curio & Relic
AKaholic #: 3738
Join Date: Apr 2005
Militants kill 14 Philippine marines, behead 10
BASILAN, Philippines - - Islamic militants killed 14 Philippine marines searching for a kidnapped Italian priest during a major gunbattle, and later beheaded 10 of them, the military said Wednesday.
The troops were ambushed on southern Basilan island by a joint force from the Philippines' main Islamic rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf, a marine spokesman said.
Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Caculitan said 14 marines were killed in the eight-hour clash, increasing an earlier death toll after more bodies were recovered. Ten had been discovered beheaded, he said in Manila.
"All 10 marines earlier reported missing have been found dead," Caculitan told reporters. "All were beheaded," he added.
Another nine were injured in the gunbattle with about 300 militants near Tipo-Tipo town on Tuesday, he said.
Intelligence reports said Italian priest Giancarlo Bossi, 57, was being kept in an area where MILF forces were known to operate and the troops had been sent in to investigate, said regional marine commander Ramiro Alivio.
About 80 marines clashed with the MILF militants backed by Abu Sayyaf fighters, after arriving there early Tuesday, said Colonel Alivio.
"We can confirm 14 were killed and nine were wounded," Alivio told AFP.
"All of our men have (now) been accounted for," he said.
Some of the beheaded had been found by provincial authorities in Basilan and been turned over to the military, other marines said.
Bossi, of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), was seized by unknown heavily armed men near his parish church in southern Zamboanga peninsula on June 10.
MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu acknowledged the group's fighters clashed with the military on Tuesday, but he denied Abu Sayyaf militants were involved, and accused the troops of violating a ceasefire by entering an MILF area.
Four MILF fighters were killed in the battle and four were injured, he said.
The 12,000-strong MILF is the country's main separatist rebel group and is currently engaged in peace talks with the government in Manila.
The Abu Sayyaf is an Al Qaeda-linked group of self-styled Islamic fighters blamed for the country's worst terrorist attacks and many kidnappings.
The son of Abu Sayyaf commander Isnilon Hapilon was thought wounded or even killed after taking part in Tuesday's ambush, Caculitan said.
Leader Hapilon is among the last surviving original heads of Abu Sayyaf and the US government had earlier offered five million dollars for his capture.
The government had earlier said Bossi's kidnappers could either be Abu Sayyaf men or renegade members of the MILF. The MILF has denied any involvement in the abduction and initially helped in the hunt for his captors.
MILF spokesman Kabalu stressed that his group had long cut links to Abu Sayyaf militants, who are known for mutilating their victims.
"The firefight was touched off because they entered our area without first coordinating with the MILF leadership as agreed upon in the peace talks," Kabalu told AFP by phone from his base in the south of the country.
"This is their fault because they intruded into our territory and our forces were alarmed and had to defend their positions," he said.
The provocation, he said, was a clear violation of a 2003 truce and would be brought up at a joint monitoring committee.
"The MILF is not involved in the Bossi kidnapping. This we say loud and clear," Kabalu said.
The Roman Catholic news agency Asianews said Tuesday it doubted that Abu Sayyaf militants were involved in the kidnapping. It said it was more likely he was being held by a criminal gang.
Daraclor: A brand of anti-malaria pills which we had to drink every week while on the border. Legend had it that these would make you turn yellow and that you wouldn't be able to tan.
|07-11-2007, 12:24 PM||#2|
AKaholic #: 7218
Join Date: Dec 2006
Boy, and I thought MILF stood for: Mothers I'd Like to F...
There are very few personal problems that can't be solved by suitable application of high explosives. -- unofficial motto of Combat Engineers.
|07-22-2007, 02:25 AM||#4|
AKaholic #: 7778
Join Date: Mar 2007
John Edwards needs to vacation in the Philippines. I used to live there as a kid. He has no idea what he is talking about.
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