Seven Abu Sayyaf rebels killed in clash in southern Philippines


dpa German Press Agency
Published: Saturday January 6, 2007


Zamboanga City, Philippines- At least seven Islamist Abu
Sayyaf rebels were killed late Saturday in a clash with government
troops in the southern Philippines, a navy commander said.
Commodore Geronimo Defensor said the clash erupted when pursuing
marines caught up with the guerrillas near the seashore of Balimbing
island in Tawi-Tawi province, 1,050 kilometres south of Manila.

Defensor said among those killed was Abu Sayyaf commander Jundam
Jamalul, alias Black Killer, who has a 40,000-dollar bounty on his
head offered by the United States government for his involvement in
the kidnapping of western tourists in Malaysia's Sipadan island in
2000.

"There was initial tracking of the bandits on Friday night in
nearby Capual island," he said. "Our troops finally caught up with
them in Balimbing."

Defensor said the government troops did not suffer any casualties
during the clash.

The troops also recovered firearms and the twin-engine motor boat
used by the rebels.

The military have launched an offensive against the al-Qaeda-
linked Islamist Abu Sayyaf rebels since August last year on the
nearby island of Jolo.

Abu Sayyaf is the smallest but most violent Islamist rebel group
in the southern Philippines. The rebels were blamed for deadly terror
attacks in the country.

© 2006 - dpa German Press Agency