Filipino jihad update: three soldiers, two of them Muslims who left the jihadist group MNLF and joined the regular army, have been murdered. “Militants Kill 3 Filipino Soldiers on Way to Mosque,” from Arab News, with thanks to Ruth King:
ZAMBOANGA CITY, 5 September 2005 “” Suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen killed three unarmed army soldiers, including a lieutenant, in an ambush yesterday in the southern Philippine island of Jolo, officials said.
The soldiers, two of them former Moro rebels who were integrated into the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), were on their way to a mosque when the militants, whose group is tied to Al-Qaeda terror network, attacked them near the village of Karawan in Indanan town, said Brig. Gen. Alexander Aleo, commander of a military anti-terror task force.
“The trio were unarmed and on a private jeep on their way to the mosque to pray when suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists ambushed them. They were killed instantly,” Aleo said by phone from a command post in Indanan town where troops mounted a pursuit operation against the attackers.
Among those killed was a lieutenant and a corporal, who were former members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) that forged a peace deal with the government in September 1996.
The trio, Aleo said, were members of the army”s 53rd Infantry Battalion which is actively involved in humanitarian mission in Jolo Island, about 950 km south of Manila.
“It was a treacherous attack and three good soldiers “” two of them Muslims “” have been killed. We condemn the attack, but this will not stop us from carrying out of mission of peace,” Aleo said.