Philippine troops clash with militants, foil new bombing plot
MANILA (AP) - Philippine troops on Thursday clashed with Muslim militants and disrupted a fresh bombing plot, the military said, after two weeks of bomb attacks across the volatile southern region killed 16 people and wounded about 100.
Troops in Basilan island province engaged about 70 fighters from the Abu Sayyaf group, notorious for terrorist attacks and ransom kidnappings, in a clash that killed one soldier and an estimated seven militants, said local army commander Colonel Carlito Galvez.
He said the operation was based on information that the militants were manufacturing bombs to be used in attacks in southern cities at the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
The three-day religious festivities of Eid al-Fitr, which mark the end of the Muslim fasting month, began on Thursday.