Mindanao – At least 16 civilians were killed by Abu Sayyaf militants as the bandits ambush its vehicles travelling to Talipao, Sulu to visit relatives in celebrating Eid al-Fitr.
Around 3:30 Monday morning, 40 to 50 Abu Sayyaf bandits armed with assault rifles reportedly led by Idang Susukan and Sibih Pisih attacked 50 civilians riding two Tamaraw jeepneys at the vicinity of Lower Lumapid in Talipao town.
Marine Brig. Gen. Martin Pinto said of the 16 casualties, 10 of which were females and six males. Among those dead were four Baragay Police Action Team members who were helping the military fight against the jungle-based bandits while 13 others, including children, were injured.
Originally, members of the Barangay Police Action Team involved in rido (clan feud) with relatives of Abu Sayyaf members were the initial target of the ambush according to Pinto. However, there is still no clear motive behind the ambush.
Abu Sayyaf is known in asking for large amount of ransoms for kidnapping. As of now, they have 6 civilians as hostages, two German tourists, one Dutch and one Swiss birdwatcher.