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Fresh attack in Sulu: Militants fire at government troops, bomb bridge

- Roel Pareño () - January 25, 2010 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Combined Abu Sayyaf militants and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels fired at government troops and bombed a bridge in Indanan, Sulu late Saturday, the military said.

The fresh attack left an undetermined number of the attackers dead as troops caught up with them, said Brig. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, chief of Joint Task Force Comet based in Jolo, the capital town of Sulu.

Guerrero said that prior to the attack, residents of Barangay Bato-Bato in Indanan saw the rebels planting a package at the Talatak Bridge and promptly reported this to the Marine Battalion Landing Team 6.

The government troops responded, but the militants managed to detonate the improvised explosive device, partially damaging the bridge.

Guerrero said the attackers withdrew to the MNLF camp in Sitio Marang near the bombed bridge.

Guerrero said that for the past three days, the rogue MNLF rebels have been harassing civilian engineers and Marine security forces repairing another bombed bridge in Barangay Baitanal, just about a kilometer away from Talatak Bridge.

The Marines have been securing the area to enable the engineers to repair the bridge.

Early this month, two other bridges that were bombed last December by the Abu Sayyaf in Barangays Lamaking and Dayuan, both in Indanan, were repaired through the combined efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Department of Public Works and Highways and the residents who organized themselves to protect their community.

Meanwhile, Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan said he is not lifting the state of emergency in the province following the series of bombings and threats from the Abu Sayyaf and other rebel forces.

“At the moment, we cannot lift the state of emergency yet because of the prevailing security situation,” Tan said.

ABU SAYYAF ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES BARANGAY BAITANAL BARANGAY BATO-BATO BARANGAYS LAMAKING AND DAYUAN BRIDGE COMBINED ABU SAYYAF DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS GUERRERO INDANAN TALATAK BRIDGE
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