Military assaults ASG island lair in Basilan

ELITE government troops on Thursday, March 10, launched an assault on a known island lair of Abu Sayyaf (ASG) bandits in Basilan province.

An MG520 attack helicopter fired several rockets on Sacol Island before troops from the military’s special operations group were inserted to finish the job.

The operation was launched after the military received information about the presence of top ASG leaders and their men in the area, said Lt. Colonel Randolph Cabangbanga, spokesman for the military’s Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom).

“It’s a surgical strike on identified leaders, Khair Mundos and Furiji Indama and 15 of their men. The information came in Wednesday night and so we launched an operation this morning,” Cabangbang told defense reporters in a telephone-conference.

The Westmincom spokesman said the chopper’s pilot reported a positive hit on the bandits position, but he could not say if there were any casualty.

“Seven rockets were fired at their positions and then soldiers from our joint special operations group were dropped in the area,” Cabangbang said.

Furuji Indama is the leader of the ASG group that were behind the ambush and beheading of 11 Marine troops in al-Barkah town on June, 2007.The al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf were blamed for the bombing attacks in Mindanao and Metro Manila. Anthony Vargas

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