Philippines: January 3, 2002



: Troops exchanged fire with Abu Sayyaf rebels on the  island of Jolo. The troops were sent to a village outside Maimbung town to check out reports of armed men when they encountered about 50 rebels. The final casualty count before the rebels disengaged in small groups was flexible - there were one to five rebels killed and an unknown number wounded. They are believed to have suffered more casualties, as the rebels were seen dragging some of their comrades away during the battle. The army suffered nine to 11 wounded, although they were all airlifted to a hospital in Jolo town.

Soldiers raided a rebel hideout on Balukaluk island, which is right next to Basilan, and captured Maid Sampang. Sampang, who had a bounty of at least $1,887 on his head, admitted to being part of a group that killed eight fishermen in the area in October 2002. However, several other suspected Abu Sayyaf members escaped.- Adam Geibel

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