Eight killed as Philippine marines, rebels clash

June 11th, 2009 - 2:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Zamboanga City (Philippines), June 11 (DPA) Eight people were killed Thursday when government troops raided a hideout of Islamic militants holding captive an Italian Red Cross worker in the southern Philippines, the military said.
Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said marines raided a hideout of Abu Sayyaf rebels in Indanan town on Jolo island, 1,000 km south of Manila, at dawn, triggering a clash with around 100 guerrillas.

Two marines were killed, while four were wounded, he said.

“The rebels suffered at least six dead and an undetermined number of wounded,” he added. “The number may rise after clearing operations. Meanwhile, combat operations are still ongoing.”

Arevalo said the rebels were led by Abu Sayyaf leaders Albader Parad and Umbra Jumdail, who were with Jemaah Islamiyah operative Omar Patek.

He said Italian Red Cross worker Eugenio Vagni was not with the group of rebels.

“They must have moved him,” he said. “They know we were building up intelligence information against them and they know they can’t keep him in one place.”

Vagni was abducted Jan 15 with two other colleagues after inspecting a water and sanitation project in the Jolo provincial jail. His two colleagues - a Swiss and a Filipino - were freed separately in April.

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