Abu Sayyaf militants raid Philippine village

Islamist militants have attacked a village in the southern Philippines, killing at least 11 people, military officials have said.

About 70 members of Abu Sayyaf, a group linked to al-Qaeda, raided Tubigan village on the southern island of Basilan, an army spokeswoman said.

Lt Steffani Cacho said homes had been raked with gunfire and set ablaze in a pre-dawn attack.

Philippines army reinforcements have been sent to the area, she added.

The militants were believed to have been avenging the death of a senior leader on nearby Jolo island, an Abu Sayyaf stronghold, Lt Cacho said.

However, Basilan police chief Antonio Mendoza said the attack had been motivated by a personal grudge with the village chairman.

'Victims asleep'

Seventeen people were wounded in the attack with nine in a critical condition, four of them children, said regional health chief Dr Kadil Jojo Sinolinding.

"Most of the victims were still asleep when they were strafed and then their houses were torched," he said.

Abu Sayyaf is the smallest and most radical of the Islamic separatist groups in the southern Philippines.

Last weekend, Abu Sayyaf commander Albader Parad was killed in an attack by Philippines troops on a rebel camp on Jolo.

27/02/2010

Bron : BBC News

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