Abu Sayyaf kill 18 in road attack

Last updated 19:13 28/07/2014

Relevant offers


Outspoken Miss World Canada Denied Entry to China 15 killed in Russian helicopter crash South Korean man gets 12 years jail for feeding ex-pupil his faeces MH370 hunt moves to where British pilot believes it crashed Hopes fade for 100 miners missing after landslide near Myanmar jade mine Singapore Airlines flight from United States lands safely amid bomb threat Journalist shot after Bangladesh executes two opposition leaders for war crimes Death toll mounts with many still missing after Myanmar landslide Former South Korean President Kim Young-sam dies at age 87 Singaporean 'McRefugee' reunited with family, five years after going missing

Abu Sayyaf gunmen killed at least 18 villagers, including women and children, in a road attack Monday as the civilians travelled in two vans to visit relatives and celebrate the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in the southern Philippines, military officials said.

The brazen attack on the civilians, one of the bloodiest by the Abu Sayyaf in recent years, also wounded about a dozen other villagers, officials said.

About 40 to 50 Abu Sayyaf militants, armed with assault rifles, staged the attack in a coastal village in Talipao town in predominantly Muslim Sulu province, where the militants have survived in jungle encampments despite years of US-backed Philippine military offensives, marine Brig. Gen. Martin Pinto and other military officials said.

The militants opened fire on the vans, killing 18 villagers.

Two of 18 wounded villagers later died in a hospital, according to marine officials overseeing the pursuit of the fleeing attackers.

The motive for the attack was not immediately clear, but Pinto said it may have been sparked by a family feud involving some of the militants.

Among those killed were at least four members of a Talipao civilian security force called Barangay Police Action Team that has been helping the military fight the jungle-based militants in recent months, Pinto said.

The Abu Sayyaf, which has about 300 armed fighters split into several factions, was organised in the early 1990s in the south, but it has been crippled by government operations and endures largely due to huge ransoms from kidnappings.  

Abu Sayyaf now holds about 10 hostages, including two German tourists seized in April and two birdwatchers, one Dutch and the other Swiss, who were kidnapped two years ago.  

The Abu Sayyaf is one of about four smaller Muslim insurgent groups outside of a peace deal signed by the Philippine government in March with the main rebel group, the 11,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front that calls for the creation of a more powerful and potentially larger autonomous region for minority Muslims in the south of the largely Roman Catholic country. 

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content