2 top terror suspects survive Philippine offensive
MANILA (AP) - Two Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf commanders, including one on the FBI's list of most-wanted terrorists, survived a Philippine military offensive that killed eight militants and led to the seizure of their jungle lair and bomb materials in the southern Philippines, the military said on Tuesday.
The assault by more than 100 army troops early Monday targeted Abu Sayyaf commanders Isnilon Hapilon and Puruji Indama in the outskirts of Tipo Tipo town on Basilan Island, but the two managed to escape and were still being hunted by government forces, army brigade commander Col. Carlito Galvez said.
At least three soldiers were wounded in the main assault and two separate gunbattles afterward with about 30 Abu Sayyaf gunmen. Troops captured the militants' lair, where they found bomb-making materials and equipment, along with sniper rifle parts, Col Galvez said.
The bodies of two of the gunmen were recovered by troops, he said.