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Philippine troops capture five Abu Sayyaf militants

06-22-2011 10:43 BJT

MANILA, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Philippine elite troops captured five Abu Sayyaf militants Wednesday in an early dawn raid in the country's restive south, military officials said.

Maj. Harold Cabunoc, Army deputy spokesman, said a captured militant, who was collared in a separate raid last week, pinpointed the exact location of an Abu Sayyaf hideout in Upper Cabengbeng village, Sumisip town, Basilan province.

The soldiers then nabbed five Abu Sayyaf militants and seized five highpowered firearms and hundreds of assorted ammunitions, Cabunoc said, adding the soldiers have coordinated with Sumisip town police for the filing of criminal charges against the militants.

No fighting was reported as the militants were able to evade the government troops, said Cabunoc, citing information from Col. Alexander Macario, commander of the Special Operations Task Group based in the province.

"I employed both the Scout Rangers and Special Forces troopers in this delicate mission. Our highly trained soldiers were able to surprise the rebels who woke up being surrounded by the soldiers at 5:30 a.m. today (Wednesday)," Cabunoc quoted Macario as saying.

The names of the captured suspects were not immediately known.

Basilan, an island province, is a known bailiwick of the Abu Sayyaf group, which was founded in the 1990s and has perpetrated a number of high-profile attacks, including kidnapping, bombing and beheading. The Philippine military estimates the Abu Sayyaf, which has links with external terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, currently has about 400 members.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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