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Troops capture Sayyaf camp in southern Philippines

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Government troops captured Wednesday an Abu Sayyaf encampment following nearly an hour of running gunbattle in the southern Philippines, the military said.

The military’s Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga City said members of the 14th Special Ranger Company seized the camp in the village of Gulangan in Sulu’s Maimbung town.

There were no reports of casualties from both sides, but the military said the camp can accomodate as much as 200 people. It said the encampment was being used by Abu Sayyaf leader Idang Susukan.

Soldiers also recovered gun parts, a motorcycle and personal belongings left behind by fleeing gunmen.

Just recently, a suspected Abu Sayyaf member lobbed a grenade on a military truck transporting troops in Jolo town also in Sulu and injured 7 special rangers. The soldiers just arrived by boat in Jolo and were heading to their barracks when the attack occurred at the port area, just several blocks from the police headquarters.

There was no arrest made, but suspicion fell heavily on Abu Sayyaf which is holding several foreigners in Sulu’s hinterlands and has threatened to execute one of them.

The soldiers were sent to the province to augment ground forces battling the Abu Sayyaf which pledged allegiance with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. (Ely Dumaboc)

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