Friday, February 25, 2005

Philippine Troops Capture Terrorist Stronghold

Philippine troops have captured a military stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf kidknapping group, which is linked to al-Qa'eda.

"The mountain camp on Jolo island was taken by around 400 soldiers from the army's 53rd Infantry Battalion.

Helicopter gunships fired rockets as extremist fighters fled in small groups. There were no reported government casualties but civilians said they had seen wounded gunmen.

The army had bombarded the camp, which was used for training and included a network of foxholes, trenches and bunkers, two days earlier in preparation for the assault.

A military spokesman said that the capture showed that the government was 'determined' to capture those people who broke the law.

He said that the camp was used by commanders of the Abu Sayyaf group, which is on the American list of terrrorist organisations. The group is known for kidnapping and beheading hostages as well as bombing campaigns in the Philippines."