A picture of the four Malaysian hostages kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf group posted on Facebook, presumably by the terrorist group themselves.(The Star/ANN/-)
Fresh clash between the Abu Sayyaf and the military has driven out at least 7,000 residents from their homes in southern Philippines. The terror group Abu Sayyaf continued its offensive against the Army Friday with gun battles spreading to three towns in Basilan province and sending at least 7,000 residents fleeing their homes and pleading for government help.
The offensive, a first by Abu Sayyaf in recent years, led to clashes that started on Wednesday evening when at least 200 terrorists attacked the headquarters of the Army’s 18th Infantry Battalion (IB) here.
Authorities said there were brief respites from the clashes.
Terrorists, some of whom armed with .50 cal. machine guns, had positioned themselves on four hills surrounding the community of Punoh Butigan in the village of Sungkayot, where the 18th IB headquarters is located.
Julie S. Alipala | Philippine Daily Inquirer | Basilan, Philippines