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Monday, October 20, 2008

"Four wounded in attack on priest by suspected Abu Sayyaf in Basilan"


ZAMBOANGA - Four people were wounded when suspected extremists ambushed a Catholic priest on Saturday in Basilan, the military said.

Father Mon Libot only suffered bruises but his four military and civilian bodyguards were wounded in the attack by members of bandit group Abu Sayyaf on the island of Basilan, said military spokesman Maj. Eugenio Batara.

The gunmen staged the ambush while Father Libot's group was driving down a dirt road in Sumisip town to attend religious services, said Batara.

The priest's escorts were able to return fire, forcing the attackers to retreat. Philippine Marines have been sent to hunt the gunmen down, the major said.

The Abu Sayyaf is a small gang of self-styled Islamic freedom fighters based largely on Basilan and neighboring Jolo island that security agencies have linked to the Al-Qaeda terror network.

It has staged numerous attacks on Christians and foreigners and is on the US government's list of foreign terrorist organizations.

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