April 13th, 2010
07:41 AM ET

Extremists disguised as military kill 11 in Philippines

Fighting raged between militants and security forces on a southern Philippine island where al Qaeda-linked militants are active, a top Filipino military official said Tuesday.

At least 11 people died, including three marines, a police officer, four civilians and three militants, according to Western Mindanao Command regional military commander Lt. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino.

Dolorfino said about 25 suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf extremist group disguised in police and military uniforms launched attacks in Isabela City, the capital of the island of Basilan.

The militants carried out blasts near a church, a sports center and judge's house, and they traded gun fire with security forces.

Dolorfino said militants appeared to have been planning "something big" and believes security forces may have foiled a major attack. He said the militants may have been using explosives as a diversion to carry out a high-profile kidnapping. There were no immediate reports of any kidnappings, however.

Two suspected militants were injured and five more were captured. Authorities were interrogating them.

Troops are on the hunt for remaining militants that have fled the city.

Abu Sayyaf wants to establish a separate state for the country's minority Muslim population. The U.S. State Department considers it a terrorist organization and says it is linked to al Qaeda. The Philippines government has been fighting to contain the militants.

Abu Sayyaf is blamed for several terrorist attacks in the Philippines, including the bombing of a ferry in 2004 that left about 130 people dead.

- CNN's Kathy Quiano-Castro contributed to this report.

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soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Juggernaut

    These so called extremists/terrorists in the Philippines are funded by the high ranking officials and Philippine military and politicians themselves. They kidnap people and ask for randsom and when they get paid, they split the money with the bloodsucking officials and politicians. This will never end.

    April 13, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Raul Hernandez

    This article talks about "extremists" and "militants:, but by the looks of it should have talk about terrorists.

    April 13, 2010 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joe R.

    Hopefully the Filipino population has become wiser and will not elect an official for temporary benefits (bribes) only to suffer for years afterwards.

    Regarding the Abu Sayyaf and other terrorists, they need to learn that violence will not get them what they want. Look at Israel. It became a nation through diplomatic efforts. The more they commit violence the more resolve their victims have. NO INDEPENDENT ABU SAYYAF RUN COUNTRY! They are part of the Philippines; deal with it!

    April 13, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. Lin

    Abu Sayyaf wants to establish a separate state for the country's minority Muslim population.
    Now they demand a state too?

    April 13, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bodhraj

    There should develop an interantional alliance as world body to trace records of the people around the places severaly affected by terrorist attacked like southern philipines island .

    There should be a world body fromation as soon as possible.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  6. opiniononly

    Filipinos, please don't sell your vote for a kilo of rice., use your head and choose the person who will fight for your rights and help uplift your way of life. Don't elect the ones who cannot even read and understands the constitution. Down with the corrupt politicians.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff

    Abu Sayyaf always makes the headlines because they are tied to Al Qaeda, but what about all the political and election-related murders that are occurring in the Philippines right now? Those far outnumber the victims of this latest rampage by Abu Sayyaf. And that is the biggest atrocity in the Philippines. Voters are offered bribes and forced at gunpoint to vote for the candidates with the biggest private army. Then, the "elected" politicians steal all the money intended to build the communities and use it for their own personal benefit by building the biggest house in their city and amassing a fleet of cars. You can usually find the Mayor's house in any given province just by finding the biggest house in the province.

    April 13, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Greg

    "These so called extremists/terrorists in the Philippines are funded by the high ranking officials and Philippine military and politicians themselves."

    Really? Could you point us to to evidence to support your claims?

    April 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lino

    Mindanao will never be peaceful. It is the training ground for the Philippines military. What would the govt do with the thousands of military, just do nothing. Eye for something to corrupt for! The govt actually like this things happen to catch the attention of the international community especially the US to use it as tool for doleout. Ahhh... Philippines, when will you ever wake up from this nightmare. The election next month would be interesting again, go sell you vote for a can of sardines and a kilo of rice. Then blame the govt for doing nothing for the people. Ahhh.... Philippines.

    April 14, 2010 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. joyce

    What a shame, the Philippines is such a beautiful country getting bad rap because of these extremist. It has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It should be flocked by tourist and the economy booming if not for fear of these mongrels.

    I do hope that the right President govern the country once again. One that has the interest of the people at heart. Look at what Lee Kwan Yu did for Singapore.
    The Philippines has so much more potential – rich with natural resources and a very intelligent smart populace. It only takes the right person at the helm to turn it back to the right direction.

    April 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Layla

    sad story that that actually happens in the world

    April 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. demy f.r.

    Extremist ? It's been a long time that the Filipinos have been hoping for a better Philippines since the Marcos Administration but it seems peace and prosperity is so distant. President Cory Aquino was very good but her term was short live because she was surrounded by "old politicians" and was never given the chance. Another election is coming and only a month away. Her son, Noynoy Aquino is hopefully the best candidate for good governance. Filipinos do make the right choice for a better Philippines. For Peace and Prosperity.

    April 15, 2010 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |