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The army has declared its two-month-long operation against the Abu Sayyaf Group in Basilan and Sulu a success. The operation concluded with 15 Islamists "neutralized" over the weekend. Two police officers and two attackers were killed in Basilan in the town of Sumisip. The EU has confirmed its willingness to participate in peace talks between the Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Troops killed three Abu Sayyaf fighters during operations near Isabela City and dismantled a bomb in Barangay Upper Maligue. The military said more than 50 foreign fighters from Jemaah Islamiyah are fighting with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The Army has sent elite, US-trained units to hunt the Abu Sayyaf fighters who launched the April 13 terror assault on the city of Isabela. Fighting broke out in the village of Tabiawan between Army and Abu Sayyaf units. Security officials believe Abu Sayyaf may carry out similar attacks, including in Manila.

Abu Sayyaf killed five Philippine Marines, a policeman, and five civilians in a terror assault on the city of Isabela. Five bombs were detonated in the city. Four Abu Sayyaf fighters were captured in the counterattack.

15 killed in Abu Sayyaf terror assault on Isabela City

Five civilians, five Philippine Marines, and a policeman were killed as Abu Sayyaf Group fighters attacked in the southern city. The brother of a known terror leader was among the four Abu Sayyaf Group fighters also killed.

Troops killed seven Abu Sayyaf fighters during a raid in Sulu. The target of the raid was Zulkifli bin Hir, the leader of the Kumpulun Mujahidin Malaysia and senior member of Jemaah Islamiyah, and Abu Benhur, an Abu Sayyaf commander.

The military captured three Abu Sayyaf bombers in Taguig City; the Abu Sayyaf members are thought to have been plotting attacks in Manila. Peace monitors from Malaysia, Brunei, and Libya arrived on Mindanao to monitor an agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

A group of Abu Sayyaf fighters stormed the village of Tubigan in Basilan at night, killed 11 villagers as they slept, and torched several homes. The local militia backed by Philippine troops drove off the Abu Sayyaf force, estimated at 70 men.

Philippine Marines killed Abu Sayyaf military commander Albader Parad, a sub-commander, and four fighters during a raid in Sulu province. Parad was wanted by the US and Philippine governments for a series of kidnapping and executions. He was close to Jemaah Islamiyah leader Dulmatin.

Abu Sayyaf military commander killed in the Philippine South

Philippine Marines killed Albader Parad during clashes in the southern province of Sulu. Parad was wanted by the US.

Abu Sayyaf kidnapped two locals working for a US-funded road construction project in the town of Maimbung in Sulu province. The Abu Sayyaf fighters have not issued any ransom demands for the release of the two workers.

Wanted Abu Sayyaf operative reported killed in North Waziristan

usman.jpgThe US has a $1 million bounty on Abdul Basit Usman for conducting attacks that murdered civilians. He is thought to have been killed in a strike on Jan. 14.

A soldier providing security was wounded when a militant threw a grenade into a Roman Catholic Cathedral in Sulu province. Three civilians were wounded in a grenade attack in Kidapawan City in North Cotabato Province. Several dozen people have been killed in violence in the Southern Philippines since September, including two US Special Forces troops.

Three Philippine Navy officers were killed as they patrolled the coastline in Basilan province by former MILF members. Security forces were dispatched in pursuit of the attackers, who were led by a former MILF member named Tanad Nasalun.

Security forces surrounded the remote mountain hideout of Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Basilan who abducted a college professor from his home on Dec. 10. Yesterday, Abu Sayyaf beheaded a Filipino worker abducted from a plywood factory in November along with two other workers; the two workers, who are Chinese, are believed to be alive.

Three people were killed when 30 fighters from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front assaulted a prison in Isabela City, Basilan province. The MILF fighters freed 31 inmates, including two MILF members behind the murder and beheading of Marines in Basilan in July 2007.

An Abu Sayyaf fighter was killed after a clash with Marines who chanced upon an enemy force in Indanan town in Sulu province. Abu Sayyaf also abducted a college professor at his house in Isabela City near Basilan State College. Also in Isabela City, the severed head of a factory worker kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf was found in the city plaza.

MILF and the government will resume peace talks Dec. 8-9 in Malaysia, following the establishment of the International Contact Group to mediate the process. The ICG consists of the UK, Japan, and Turkey as well as international nongovernmental organizations. The founder of MNLF, Nur Misuari, was acquitted of leading a violent rebellion in Jolo in 2001.

Twenty-eight Abu Sayyaf members were charged with the abduction of three factory workers in Basilan province last week. The victims, which include two Chinese nationals, are still being held captive by Abu Sayyaf in Basilan province; security forces have been deployed to search for their whereabouts. Father Michael Sinnot, who was freed from Abu Sayyaf captivity last week after international outcry for his release, stated that he wants to remain as a missionary in the Philippines despite his ordeal.

Three MILF members were charged with kidnapping Irish priest Michael Sinnot, who was released from captivity on Nov. 12. MILF released a statement supporting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appeal that the Philippine government should strike a peace deal with the group before President Arroyo leaves office in 2010.