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The Philippine military has set up cordons on Mindanao island and dispatched four naval vessels to the surrounding waters to search for the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers of Father Michael Sinnot. Father Sinnot, an Irish priest, has been serving the people of the Philippines for over 40 years until he was abducted on Sunday.

Father Michael Sinnot, a 78-year-old Irish priest, was kidnapped by six armed Abu Sayyaf terrorists at his residence in Pagadian City on Mindanao island. The gunmen forced Father Sinnot into a minivan before fleeing the area on a boat.

Abu Sayyaf gunmen attacked military engineers who were repairing a bridge, killing one marine and wounding another in Sulu province. In Cotabato City, insurgents detonated a bomb made from a mortar shell along the side of the highway, causing little damage.

Three thousand US troops will rotate to the Philippines for training and humanitarian support missions next week, sparking fears that US forces may be deployed to Sulu province in the wake of the deaths of two US soldiers. Despite an ongoing truce, MILF gunmen attacked and killed two farmers in North Cotabato.

US Navy personnel killed in IED attack in the Philippines

SEALs in Manila

Two US sailors and a Philippine Marine were killed in an IED attack that destroyed their vehicle as they traveled on the southern Island of Jolo. The sailors were from the Naval Construction Battalions and were on a resupply mission for a school construction project. Abu Sayyaf was blamed for conducting teh attack.

The military is planning to send more troops to Jolo island to combat Abu Sayyaf terrorists due to an increase in violence in recent days. The military also announced that three school teachers who were kidnapped in Zamboanga Sibugay province and held hostage for six months were released.

Eight Philippine troops were killed in an ambush by Abu Sayyaf fighters. The soldiers were returning to base from a mission in which they overran an Abu Sayyaf camp of 200 fighters near the town of Indanan on Jolo Island. Nineteen Abu Sayyaf fighters were killed in the Army assault on the camp, which was defended with trenches and bunkers.

The military attacked a large gathering of Abu Sayyaf fighters in Sulu province, employing airstrikes and artillery to attempt to serve warrants on three Abu Sayyaf commanders. The military has sustained its offensive against Abu Sayyaf despite the holy month of Ramadan.

Two people were killed and 15 more were wounded in a grenade attack at a carnival on Jolo island by suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists. Ten Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters surrendered to the military in Mindanao, handing over a variety of small arms and ammunition.

Jahid Susukan, an Abu Sayyaf leader with a large bounty on his head, was arrested at the port of Zamboanga on Sept. 9 on suspicion of involvement in the kidnapping of 21 tourists at a resort in Malaysia in 2000. The government announced that it expected peace talks with MILF to resume after Ramadan.

US military presence in the Philippines will be a hot issue in the country's elections

Truce between MILF and Philippine government holds

The National Police announced that they were pursuing 44 Abu Sayyaf members who were involved in the 2001 abduction of tourists from a resort in Palawan and the 2000 abduction of civilians in Basilan. President Arroyo stated that Libya's Qadaffi Foundation may invest in economic development in Mindanao.

Madhatta Haipe, an Abu Sayyaf terrorist who kidnapped American tourists in South Cotabato province in 1995, appeared before a federal court in Washington and was ordered held without bail. An IED planted by Abu Sayyaf wounded two Army engineers as they were on the way to a local mosque to pray in Sulu province. The military deployed an additional battalion to pursue Abu Sayyaf and rogue elements of MILF in Basilan province.

Abu Sayyaf leader extradited to US for kidnapping

Philippine military needs larger budget to modernize, says Defense Secretary

Police filed murder charges against 13 Abu Sayyaf and Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters in connection with the Aug. 12 battle with government forces that left 20 Marines and three soldiers dead. Despite the truce with MILF, police continue to hunt for three commanders who are wanted for attacks on civilian communities in Basilan and Sulu provinces. Security forces also continue to hunt for Abu Sayyaf terrorists throughout the southern Philippines.

Philippine police detain terror group leader

Khalil Pareja, the leader of the Rajah Solaiman Movement, a group of Catholics who converted to Islam, was detained after police surrounded his hideout. The group has been behind some of the most deadly terror attacks in the Philippines.