Suspect in Marine beheading surrenders self
() - August 9, 2007 - 4:43pm

ZAMBOANGA (AFP) - Local police confirmed that an alleged Abu Sayyaf member suspected of taking part in the beheading of the 10 Marines had surrendered to a local television crew on Basilan island.

"He surrendered and he is denying the accusations against him. We should talk to him to find out the truth," said a regional police official.

Two other suspects in the beheading had earlier turned themselves in after the government announced it was going after them.

Troops have been massing in the southern Philippines since July 10 when 14 Marines were killed. Ten of them were beheaded.

At least three Abu Sayyaf extremists and a soldier were killed Wednesday and two Marines were wounded Tuesday in clashes in Jolo island.

The Abu Sayyaf group, which the US and Philippine governments have linked to Al-Qaeda, has been responsible for numerous attacks on Christians and foreigners throughout the Philippines in recent years.

The military has been on an offensive against the Abu Sayyaf in Jolo island since last year and have killed two major Abu Sayyaf leaders since.

The Abu Sayyaf and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were behind the July 10 attack, the military and government have said.

The MILF, which is supposed to be observing a three year-old ceasefire, has admitted killing the Marines but denied beheading them.

More than 23,000 villagers residing near MILF camps in the southern Philippines have fled their homes for fear of getting caught up in any possible government attack.

Despite the heightening of tensions, government peace negotiators have said they expect to reopen peace talks with the MILF in Malaysia before the end of this month.

ABU ABU SAYYAF AL-QAEDA BASILAN BEHEADING GOVERNMENT JOLO MARINES MILF MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT SAYYAF
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