Philippine Troops Kill Abu Sayyaf Leader
The Philippines military says a leading member of the Abu Sayyaf rebel group has been killed in a clash with troops. An army spokesman says Amilhamja Ajijul's death is a "big blow" to the Muslim militant organisation. Colonel Edgardo Gidaya says Ajijul was killed in a firefight which erupted after soldiers raided a suspected rebel hideout in southern Zamboanga city.
Philippine soldiers killed a leader of Muslim rebel group Abu Sayyaf wanted for a series of fatal bombings, including an attack which killed a US soldier in 2002.Another Abu Sayyaf suspect was killed while four others were arrested. Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for a wave of bombings and kidnappings in the Philippines. Mr Ajijul is wanted for an attack on two shopping malls in Zamboanga in 2002. Police also want to question him about the kidnapping of 53 students and teachers at a school on Basilan island in 2000. Abu Sayyaf is fighting to establish a Muslim state in the southern Philippines. The Philippine and US governments consider it a terrorist group and claim it has links to the al Qaeda network.