Results tagged “Philippines”
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Seven Marines and five Abu Sayyaf fighters were killed during a clash on the island of Sulu; nine Marines were also wounded. The troops were tracking a group of Abu Sayyaf fighters behind kidnappings in the area.
Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario recommended that the Philippines pull its 342 troops out of the UN peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights, following the recent abduction of four troops by the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, a Syrian rebel group that abducted 24 Filipino troops in March. He said the rebels are using the four troops as human shields.
Some 100 Philippine troops raided a camp of 30 Islamist militants near Tipo-tipo on Basilan, killing eight. Authorities said wanted Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon was wounded but managed to escape. He was meeting with two Indonesians from Jemaah Islamiah and another Abu Sayyaf leader prior to the assault. The militants were said to be planning to disrupt elections; bomb materials and weapons parts were found. The government said US bases would return to the Philippines only in the event of "extreme emergency."
Some 8,000 US and Philippine troops began a joint two-week military drill, simulating battles and disaster responses. The Foreign Secretary suggested that the US may be allowed a great military presence in the Philippines given increasing regional threats.
Militants from the al Qaeda-linked terror group Abu Sayyaf released Australian hostage Warren Richard Rodwell, whom they had held captive after kidnapping him in December 2011. A Philippine security official said Rodwell was freed after a ransom was paid.
Clashes in Sulu province between Abu Sayyaf and the MNLF have resulted in the deaths of 20 MNLF fighters and 17 Abu Sayyaf militants. The fighting began in the village of Patikul when the MNLF tried to rescue a captive Jordanian hostage from Abu Sayyaf; the hostage, along with several others, including a Japanese, a Malaysian, an Australian, and European birdwatchers Ewold Horn and Lorenzo Vinciguerra, is still being held by the militants.
The Moro National Liberation Front attempted to free a Jordanian hostage being held by Abu Sayyaf in Jolo. Eight MNLF and 13 Abu Sayyaf fighters were killed in the clash; the fate of the Jordanian is not known.
Two Filipino members of a Jordanian journalist's crew held hostage by Abu Sayyaf militants since June 2012 have been freed; the journalist is still in captivity. The militants had demanded a $3.1 million ransom for the three men. MNLF rebels claimed to have assisted with negotiations in order to "help the government clean up the image" of Sulu, where the kidnapping occurred.
A suspected US drone was found floating in the waters off Mastabe Island and turned over to Philippine naval authorities. The US Embassy, which is investigating the matter, said the vehicle was unarmed and not used for surveillance.
Six people were wounded in the bombing of two buses on a road near Isulan in Mindanao; there are currently no suspects. Moro Island Liberation Front insurgents have been observing a ceasefire since the signing of a preliminary peace deal in October.
Abu Sayyaf released a short video showing an Australian man kidnapped from his home in Ipil town in Zamboanga Sibugay 54 weeks ago. The captive pleads for release but says he does not trust Abu Sayyaf or the Australian government. He is thought to have been taken by Abu Sayyaf to Basilan.