1 killed, 36 injured in Abu Sayyaf attackBy Frances Mangosing
MANILA, Philippines—One was killed and 36 rubber tappers were injured in an ambush by Abu Sayyaf rebels in Basilan Friday morning, the military said.
Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command, said five of the injured were serious.
The attack occurred in Sapah Bulak village in Sumisip town at about 11:30 a.m.
The rubber tappers are from the Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Incorporated Development Cooperative.
The attack was reportedly triggered by the cooperative’s refusal to give in to Abu Sayyaf’s extortion demand.
Colonel Lope Dagoy, 104th Brigade Deputy Commander, said the victims were aboard two trucks when waylaid by an undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf extremists.
Cabangbang said that the victims were airlifted and taken to the hospital for treatment.
The same suspects who recently ambushed rubber tappers could be behind the attack, he said.
Pursuit operations were launched against the Islamic extremists.