53 dead in renewed Jolo fighting
At east 53 combatants – 26 soldiers and 27 Abu Sayyaf gang members have been killed reports reaching manila say in clashes in the southern philippines on the island of jolo in Sulu province.
The fighting stems from an ambush if a convoy which left 9 dead – and a later clash with Abu Sayyaf blockigng force left another 10 dead and more injured in pursiot operations. Media reports say the remaining causalities on their side came from injured troops who died en route or at hospitals in Jolo.
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The latest action versus ASG members who experts say may be trying to create a diversion and devide AFP attention versus susspected ASG members involved in the beheading of Marines in near-by Basilan Proivince.
MILF agrees to reposition forces in Basilan to give way to …
Minda News, Philippines – … fighters will move out from their camps in Al Barka town in Basilan to allow the Marines to hunt four suspects believed to be Abu Sayyaf members who, …
There at least five battalons of Philippine Army troops and Marines are seeking the men responsible for another ambush and later beheading of a military patrol there three weeks ago in Thursdays clash in Jolo.
The units coming from Camp Austurias were met by heravy resistance from ASG members who seem to have beefed up thier strength in new actions two weeks apart tht are targeting small units into ambush and attack tactics similar to those used in mainland mindanao by more veteran Moro fighters.
Over 50 killed in southern Philippines fighting Swissinfo
‘Fifty dead’ in Philippines clash BBC News
Fighting in Southern Philippines Kills at Least 20 Soldiers Voice of America
Wall Street Journal – Times of India
The goal appears to be the capture of weapons and equipment – there is also some speculation as well that the ASG and JI allies are looking for foreign civilian advisor’s – and or contractors who frequently travel with AFP units to project numerous development project sites.
There have also been reports the ASG, JI, and sympatisers are also sabotaging deep wells, damaging or burning comunity building and attemtping to destroy infrastructure in remote areas to reduce communications and transportion as well as community sympathy for the Philippine Military.