7 soldiers wounded in Basilan ambush by Abu Sayyaf bandits

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MANILA, Philippines—Seven soldiers of the Army Scout Rangers were wounded in an ambush by Abu Sayyaf Group bandits Tuesday morning in Basilan, the military said.

A team led by a Staff Sergeant Rosete of 12th Scout Ranger Company were ambushed by an undetermined number of rebels at about 8 a.m., said Army spokesman Major Harold Cabunoc.

The troops were on their way to their headquarters in Bohek Suyak village in Ungkayapukan when they were ambushed by the bandits at vicinity Junction Amaloy-Bohe Pahu.

The firefight lasted 20 minutes, Cabunoc said.

Helicopters were sent to evacuate the soldiers, which were later brought to Camp Navarro General Hospital in Zamboanga City.

“We suspect that this is the handiwork of spoilers particularly the ASG who wanted to destroy the significant headway that we achieved from the successful meetings last 4 January in Magkawa Albarka and 21 January in Baag, Guiong, Sumisip,” said Colonel Charlie Galvez of the Army’s 104th Brigade.

“With this, the ASG wanted to make a strong statement that they are still around and wanted the AFP to act indiscriminately and impair the ongoing peacetalks,” he added.

Pursuit operations are underway, Cabunoc said.

Originally posted at 12:22 pm | Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2012

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Tags: abu sayyaf , Abu Sayyaf Group , Army Scout Rangers , Basilan

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