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Sayyafs terrorize Basilan province

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants ambushed a police patrol and bombed the house of a senior government official in separate attacks in the troubled province of Basilan in southern Philippines, police said Friday.

Police said no one was hurt or killed in the ambush which occurred late Thursday in the village called Bulan-Bulan in Lantawan town, but the patrol car was hit by a hail of bullets. At least 7 policemen were in the patrol car when militants strafed the vehicle.

The policemen were returning to their base from an operation when the ambush occurred. The attack also coincided with a homemade bomb explosion at the house of Soler Undug, the district engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways, in San Rafael village in Isabela City.

No was injured in the blast, but the powerful explosion destroyed a portion of Undug’s concrete fence, police said, adding, bomb experts have recovered parts of a cell phone, electrical wirings and traces of ammonium nitrate at the site.

The bombing occurred after militants also ambushed Undug’s employees and killing 2 of them and wounding four others in Lamitan City. Police said the Abu Sayyaf was extorting money from the DPWH.

Another explosive device was recovered and disarmed by the police outside the house of another provincial government engineer, Bong Salatan, in Isabela City, Basilan’s capital.

The Abu Sayyaf was suspected as behind the foiled bombing. But it was unclear how the militants managed to stage the attacks despite the huge presence of soldiers in the province. The military – which repeatedly trumpeted its campaign and surrender of dozens of militants in Basilan – did not release any information on the latest Abu Sayyaf atrocities. (Mindanao Examiner)

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