Friday, August 24, 2007

One Less Abu Sayyaf

Let's get this straight. The Abu Sayyaf are not "rebels". Technically you could call the MILF rebels. Abu Sayyaf are terrorists. What qualifies them as such? Cutting the heads off of kidnapped tourists, setting bombs off on commuter trains, blowing up shops, killing Priests and Nuns.

Muslim rebel killed in military raid in southern Philippines

A Muslim Abu Sayyaf rebel was killed during a raid on a suspected guerrilla hideout on a southern Philippine island, an army spokesman said Friday. Army troops swooped down on the suspected Abu Sayyaf lair in Umbay village on Jolo island, 1,000 kilometres south of Manila, before dawn on Thursday.

Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ernesto Torres said one Abu Sayyaf rebel, identified as Abdul Majid, was killed in the raid.

Torres said Majid was wanted for kidnapping and illegal detention.

"Seized from his house were a magazine for M16 rifle and ammunition for a 45-caliber pistol," he said.

The Philippine military has stepped up offensives against Abu Sayyaf rebels in Jolo and nearby Basilan province after suffering heavy casualties in the battlefield.

Since last month, more than 50 soldiers have been killed in clashes with Abu Sayyaf rebels and other Islamic militants in Jolo and Basilan.

General Hermogenes Esperon, armed forces chief of staff, said the military aims to neutralize the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan and Jolo within two months.

"We will apply the full force of our large presence in the two areas if only to see an early neutralization of the Abu Sayyaf," he said.

"They would be put off balance and will not be able to launch any terrorist activities," he added.

Esperon said that once the military has neutralized the Abu Sayyaf's threat, the armed forces would then launch civic and humanitarian missions in affected areas.