Philippine official: Abu Sayyaf harboring suicide bomber
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — An Abu Sayyaf militant leader accused of plotting a recent suicide attack in a Roman Catholic cathedral in the southern Philippines may be harboring a foreign would-be suicide bomber in his jungle base, a senior official said Thursday.
Philippine police: 5 church bombing suspects in custody
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Five suspected Abu Sayyaf militants accused of involvement in a deadly suicide attack at a Roman Catholic cathedral in the southern Philippines have surrendered to authorities, the national police chief said Monday amid renewed terrorism fears.
Philippine troops battle Muslim militants after church blast
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine troops clashed with Abu Sayyaf gunmen in fierce jungle fighting that left five soldiers and three militants dead, as the military pushed forward with a fresh offensive following a deadly church bombing last weekend.
Duterte sees bombed church, tells army to crush Abu Sayyaf
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — President Rodrigo Duterte and his top security officials on Monday visited a Catholic cathedral in the southern Philippines where suspected Islamic militants set off bombs that killed 20 people and wounded more than 100.
Philippines: 66 alleged militants convicted in kidnappings
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Philippine court on Friday found 66 alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf guilty of kidnapping dozens of students, teachers and a Catholic priest in the south in 2000, in the largest single conviction involving the brutal Muslim militant group.
Militants free 3 Indonesian hostages in southern Philippines
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Muslim militants have freed three Indonesian men they kidnapped at sea early last year off Malaysia then brought them to their jungle hideouts in the southern Philippines, officials said Sunday.
The Indonesians were freed Friday with the help of the Moro National Liberation Front, a rebel group that signed a peace deal with the Philippine government, in Indanan town in Sulu province, police said.
43 suspects in deadly Philippine bombings face criminal raps
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Criminal complaints have been filed against 43 Muslim militants from two armed groups linked to the Islamic State group for two bomb attacks in the southern Philippines, including a suspected suicide bombing that killed 11 people, police said Monday.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine military said Saturday it is checking intelligence reports that a Middle East-educated commander of the Abu Sayyaf extremist group has died after being wounded in an artillery strike in the south.
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (AP) — A senior commander of the Abu Sayyaf extremist group blamed for bombings and kidnappings has surrendered in the southern Philippines, the defense chief said Thursday, expressing hope it would bring the "eventual collapse" of a key militant stronghold.
Philippine troops capture suspected Spanish militant backer
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine troops have captured a Spanish man they said was carrying grenades and bomb parts and is believed to be a supporter of Islamic State group-linked Abu Sayyaf militants on southern Basilan island, where he acknowledged visiting "the jungle."
Philippine court convicts bomber in congressman’s death
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Philippine court has convicted a man for a daring 2007 motorcycle bombing that killed a Muslim rebel-turned-congressman and three other people and wounded 10, including two legislators.
Judge Ralph Lee of the Regional Trial Court Branch 83 on Friday convicted Ikram Indama but acquitted two other key suspects in the Nov. 13, 2007, bombing that killed Rep. Wahab Akbar as he walked out of a lobby at the House of Representatives.
Malaysia arrests 7 Filipinos suspected of Abu Sayyaf links
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian police said Thursday they have arrested seven Filipinos believed to be members of the Abu Sayyaf militant group, as part of a crackdown on suspected terrorists in the country.
Philippines: 2 Indonesians escape from Abu Sayyaf captors
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Two Indonesians who escaped from Abu Sayyaf militants after 10 months of captivity were recovered by Philippine troops Thursday, officials said.
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said soldiers intercepted the two men who were on board a vehicle in Indanan town in southern Sulu province.
There was no mention of any injuries but they were brought to hospital for medical examination and will also undergo debriefing by the military.
Abu Sayyaf militants kill 9, wound 16 in Philippines
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine officials say Abu Sayyaf militant gunmen have killed at least nine people and wounded 16 others in a dawn attack in a remote village in the country's restive south.
Military officials say about 20 Abu Sayyaf gunmen opened fire on villagers and burned five houses and a village hall in the attack early Monday in Tubigan village in Maluso town on Basilan island. The attackers fled and were being pursued by troops.
7 dead in clash between Abu Sayyaf and Philippine troops
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Officials say Philippine troops attempting to rescue hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf clashed with the militants, leaving two soldiers and five gunmen dead.
Provincial commander Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana says troops encounter around 30 gunmen early Thursday in southern Sulu province. He says soldiers were trying to rescue 23 hostages, including 15 foreigners, amid unconfirmed rumors their captors have threatened to behead some of them.
JOLO, Philippines (AP) — Suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen abducted four workers in a school in a southern Philippine province where President Rodrigo Duterte visited troops waging an offensive against the militants, officials said Sunday.
About 20 militants barged into a grade school compound in Sulu province's Patikul town shortly after midnight Saturday and seized six painters and carpenters, one of whom managed to escape and alerted the police. Army troops later rescued another worker.
Philippine security forces are battling Muslim militants who have laid siege to a city in the volatile southern region of Mindanao. The upheaval began after troops raided a hideout in search of Isnilon Hapilon, one of Asia's top militant leaders. Some background on Hapilon:
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine marines have killed an Abu Sayyaf extremist commander and a notorious kidnapper who had sailed across the sea border into Malaysia to snatch tourists and sailors for ransom, the military chief said Saturday.
CEBU, Philippines (AP) — After a massive manhunt, Philippine forces killed at least four suspected Muslim militants Saturday in a central resort province where troops had foiled possible kidnapping and bombing plots by extremists earlier this month, officials said.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte offered a bounty Wednesday for the capture of Muslim extremists behind a foiled attack on a central resort island, and said he ordered the navy to bomb militants who travel by boat in search of kidnap victims.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — More than 200 delegates from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will proceed with a meeting in a central Philippine resort province this week despite a foiled attack there by Muslim extremists, officials said Monday.
Acting Interior Secretary Catalino Cuy said that Panglao Island in Bohol province could be considered "the most secure place in the country right now." The two-day ASEAN trade meeting on the island starts Wednesday.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A foiled attack on a central Philippine resort island this week was a kidnapping and bombing mission by at least three extremist groups affiliated with the Islamic State group in one of their most daring terror plots, security officials said Saturday.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The killing of a Muslim extremist leader on a resort island in the central Philippines this week was a clear victory for the military, but it also drove home an unsettling reality: that the militants are venturing farther from their jungle hideouts to spread terror.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Latest on clashes between Philippine forces and suspected militants (all times local):
Clashes between Philippine troops and suspected Abu Sayyaf militants have raised concerns about tourism in the central province where the fighting is occurring.
Jaypee Orcullo, an officer of the Department of Tourism in Bohol province, says some tourists canceled hotel reservations. He estimated around 10 percent may have canceled their online booking.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Latest on clashes between Philippine forces and suspected militants (all times local):
The young Abu Sayyaf commander killed in battle had been regarded by the Philippine military as a possible future leader of the brutal militants linked to the Islamic State group.
A picture of Moammar Askali's body was obtained by The Associated Press as the military confirmed his death.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine troops battling militants in a central province killed a key Abu Sayyaf commander who had been blamed for the beheadings of two Canadians and a German hostage and was apparently attempting another kidnapping mission, the military chief said Wednesday.
3 kidnapped Malaysians rescued in southern Philippines
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines military said Monday they have rescued three more Malaysian tugboat crewmen held hostage by Muslim militants for eight months in the south of the country.
A brief military report said troops rescued Zulkipli Bin Ali, Mohammad Ridzuan Bin Ismail and Fandy Bin Bakran late Sunday in southern Sulu province. They were taken to a hospital for check-ups.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's counterterrorism squad says it has arrested four suspected Islamic militants who were trying to establish a jihadist training camp in eastern Indonesia and who likely had links with Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern Philippines.
National Police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said the men were arrested in several locations on the island of Java on Thursday and were connected to four militants ambushed by police on the same day near Jakarta.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine troops have found the remains of a German hostage who was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf militants in the country's south, vowing Sunday to rescue more than 30 other captives and crush the ransom-seeking extremists.
Philippine president apologizes to Germany for hostage death
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to Germany on Tuesday for failing to save a German hostage, who was beheaded by Muslim militants, and said a massive offensive backed by fighter jets against the extremists was underway.
Philippine militants release video of German’s beheading
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Abu Sayyaf extremists in the Philippines released a video showing the beheading of a German hostage in the first sign the brutal Filipino militants carried out a threat to kill him after a ransom deadline lapsed over the weekend.
German hostage says Abu Sayyaf threatening to behead him
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A German hostage says Abu Sayyaf militants are threatening to behead him if a ransom is not paid within 12 days to the group holding him in the jungles of the southern Philippines.
Jurgen Gustav Kantner, who also was kidnapped by Somali pirates years ago, tearfully spoke about the threat by Abu Sayyaf militants and the Feb. 26 ransom deadline in a video circulated Tuesday by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi websites.
3 Filipino soldiers dead, 17 wounded in clash with militants
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Three Filipino soldiers were killed and 17 others wounded in nearly two hours of fighting with about 150 Muslim militants in the south, the military said Sunday.
The Abu Sayyaf gunmen withdrew after the fierce clash on Saturday in the mountains of Patikul town in Sulu province, and are being pursued by government forces, said regional military spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan.
Philippine army says 14 killed in battle with Abu Sayyaf
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Fierce clashes erupted Friday between government troops and Muslim extremists in southern Philippines, leaving at least 14 combatants dead, the military said.
The dead included 10 Abu Sayyaf rebels, although troops recovered only three bodies, said military spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan.
Four were killed and nine wounded on the government side, he said.
Suspected Filipino militants kidnap 6 Vietnamese sailors
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants attacked a Vietnamese cargo ship and kidnapped its captain and five crewmen off the southern Philippine island of Basilan early Friday, in the latest in a wave of sea assaults that have alarmed the region's leaders.
Philippine militants say they abducted German, killed woman
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A German kidnapped by Somali pirates eight years ago may now be held captive by Islamic militants in the southern Philippines, the country's military said Monday after finding the man's yacht and a woman's body inside.
Regional military spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan said Abu Sayyaf spokesman Muamar Askali claimed the militants kidnapped Jurgen Gustav Kantner and killed his female companion while the couple were cruising off neighboring Malaysia's Sabah state.
Abu Sayyaf claims to have kidnapped German, killed woman
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine military is trying to verify a claim by Abu Sayyaf militants that they have kidnapped a German man from a yacht and shot and killed his girlfriend in the southern Philippines, a military spokesman said Monday.
Regional military spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan said Abu Sayyaf spokesman Muamar Askali had claimed the militants kidnapped Juegen Kantner and killed his companion while the couple were cruising off neighboring Malaysia.
Philippine rebel leader emerges from hiding to meet Duterte
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Muslim rebel leader emerged Thursday from three years of hiding in the southern Philippines to meet the president, who has reached out to him as part of efforts to tame a decadeslong Muslim rebellion.
Duterte eyes joint operations with Malaysia vs. Abu Sayyaf
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will discuss possible joint military and police operations with Malaysia to quell Abu Sayyaf militant kidnappings of sailors along the countries' sea border, saying that the brazen attacks have paralyzed trade and commerce.
Philippine military says it has killed 70 militants
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine military said Tuesday it has killed 70 Abu Sayyaf militants and captured 32 others in an offensive that began in July against the group, which is accused of kidnapping sailors from neighboring countries for ransom.
Military spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo said 28 government troops have died and nearly 100 others have been wounded in one of the largest military campaigns against the brutal militants in the southern island provinces of Sulu and Basilan.
APNewsBreak: Abu Sayyaf got $7.3 million from kidnappings
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Abu Sayyaf pocketed at least 353 million pesos ($7.3 million) from ransom kidnappings in the first six months of the year and have turned to abductions of foreign tugboat crewmen as military offensives restricted the militants' mobility, a confidential Philippine government report said.
Abu Sayyaf attacks S. Korean ship, abducts skipper, crewman
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants have abducted a South Korean skipper and a Filipino crewman from a South Korean cargo ship in the latest such attacks that have sparked a security alarm in the busy regional sealanes, military officials said Friday.
3 Indonesian hostages released in southern Philippines
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Three Indonesian hostages have been released in the southern Philippines after being held by their Abu Sayyaf captors for more than three months, Indonesia's foreign minister said Sunday.
Norwegian returns home after yearlong captivity Philippines
STOCKHOLM (AP) — A Norwegian man who was freed by militants in the Philippines has returned home after a year of jungle captivity.
Kjartan Sekkingstad arrived in Oslo on Friday, six days after being released by Abu Sayyaf extremists who had kidnapped him along with two Canadians who were later beheaded and a Filipino woman.
The 57-year-old Norwegian told reporters he had experienced "a year of terror," with little food, long jungle treks and a constant fear of being killed.
Norwegian says his Philippine kidnapping was ‘devastating’
INDANAN, Philippines (AP) — A Norwegian man freed by militants after a year of jungle captivity in the southern Philippines described the ordeal Sunday as "devastating," carrying a backpack with a bullet hole as a reminder of a near-death experience that included the beheadings of the two Canadians kidnapped with him.
Militants in southern Philippines free Norwegian hostage
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Abu Sayyaf extremists on Saturday freed a Norwegian man kidnapped a year ago in the southern Philippines with two Canadians who were later beheaded and a Filipino woman who has been released by the ransom-seeking militants, officials said.
Duterte declares ‘state of lawlessness’ after bomb kills 14
DAVAO, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared a nationwide "state of lawlessness" Saturday after suspected Abu Sayyaf extremists detonated a bomb that killed 14 people and wounded about 70 in his southern hometown.