Twenty seven Marines faced 200 well armed terrorists, but they resolved to fight or die.

In a pre dawn battle outside of Patikul in Sulu, they fought and some died, but as a result of the heroic action by Philippine Marines last September 4th, the leader of the Abu Sayef Khadaffy Janjalani.was killed, a kill which was confirmed yesterday by DNA Sulu province last Sept. 4 in which his men killed top Abu Sayyaf leader Khadaffy Janjalani. LINK

“….“I looked to my side, one of my men was dead. On my other side, one was wounded. Behind me, someone had blood gushing from his face,” 2nd Lt. Romulo Dimayuga said yesterday, recalling the battle in Sulu province last Sept. 4 in which his men killed top Abu Sayyaf leader Khadaffy Janjalani. “But (our) will to fight was unmatchable. Even though wounded, we were firing back,” the platoon leader of the 27-man elite Marine Force Reconnaissance Class 12 told reporters. Despite the overwhelming force his platoon faced, Dimayuga said he and his men never considered retreating. “We held the line. We could not retreat because we were going to leave many behind. I will not leave any Marines behind,” he said..”

The war on terror continues in the Philippines, with several recent battles that resulted the killing of second in command Sulaiman last week.

There was a large reward for Janjalani and Sulaiman and other Abu Sayyaf leaders, posted by the US government because they had kidnapped and beheaded an American, but too often western newssources forget that other people are involved in the fight, for their own reasons: Janjali has kidnapped and killed Philippinos, including 100 in a ferry that was bombed.

President Arroyo is in active talks with the much large MILF group, and it is hoped that the destruction of these outsider funded groups associated with Indonesian AlQaeda groups will encourage those talks to move along. As a result of the peace talks, the MILF has decided to deny sanctuary to fleeing Abu Sayef terrorists, whose attacks on civilians go against Islamic law.

But experts warn that if the Philippine Army continues to attack such radicals might lead to more attacks by remaining personnel, and might push the survivors to more extreme actions (as if bombing a ferry is not already an extreme act).

This may be why the US is holding a three week training course in Taguig City, to teach first responders about both gas and radiological (“dirty bomb”) attacks. The US has not been involved in the fighting, but has been active in training, logistics, and intelligence that assists the Philippine Armed Forces in the fight against groups with ties to international terrorist organizations.

There is a worry also that Islamic converts from Luzon, who know the language and culture of that region, will be used to attack vulnerable targets in the Manila region.

The war against Abu Sayyef has been mirrored in recent developments in Indonesia, where a push against terrorists has killed nine Jemaah Islamiah fighters in Sulawesi. That push was with the help of Australian and American special forces, and although the reporter blithely spins the headline to blithely suggest the Aussies have “reactivated” and rejuvenated that group (who was behind the Bali Bombings), if you read to the end of the article you find that the reason the Indonesian government agreed to Australia help is because these “Islamic extremists in the town have been blamed for sporadic bombings, beheadings, shootings and other attacks” in Sualwesi, which has a large Christian population. LINK2

There are close ties between these two groups, since two of those associated with the Bali bombers are reportedly hiding with Abu Sayyaf in Sulu. So the war against terror goes on in South East Asia, spurred by a recent agreement at the ASEAN Summit that encouraged intergovernmental cooperation against those who terrorize local populations.
———————————————Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines with her husband. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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