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Philippine soldiers to be sent to Jolo island

2009-09-23 17:30 BJT

MANILA, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine military authority Wednesday is mulling to send extra combatant troops to a remote southern island where at least three commanders of the Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf are hiding.

Security forces Sunday overran a militant camp in the jungles of Jolo island and killed at least 19 suspected members of the AbuSayyaf. Militants ambushed the Marine convoy the following day and killed eight soldiers.

Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., chief spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said the military is planning to send troops to Jolo, some 950 km south of Manila, as the latest clashes indicated that Isnilon Hapilon, a top wanted Abu Sayyaf leader, has come to Jolo from his base in the neighboring island of Basilan.

Brawner said Hapilon is meeting with two other prominent Abu Sayyaf leaders, Albader Parad and Dr. Abu, who command more than 220 militants in Jolo.

The Abu Sayyaf was founded by a radical Islamic scholar in late1980s. It received the assistance from the al Qaeda network in its early days of establishment. The group, with fewer than 400 members now, is blamed for the most deadly terrorist attacks and a series of kidnapping for ransom in the Philippines.

Editor: Du Xiaodan | Source: Xinhua