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Philippine military choppers, troops assault Abu Sayyaf militant wanted by US, officials say

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MANILA >> Philippine military aircraft have fired rockets and dropped assault troops on a southern island where an Abu Sayyaf commander wanted by Washington has been sighted with his men.

Regional military spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang says troops received information about the presence of Khair Mundos, his deputy Puruji Indama and about 15 Abu Sayyaf fighters in a mangrove area on Sacol island near Zamboanga city.

The spokesman says the assault was launched early Thursday. He says it is not immediately clear if Mundos or his men have been killed or captured, and that the assault is continuing about nine hours after it started.

The Abu Sayyaf has 410 fighters. It has been blamed for deadly bomb attacks, kidnappings for ransom and beheadings.

 

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