Manila: About 30 hooded attackers, believed
to be Abu Sayyaf militants, shot and hacked horrified victims
running for their lives in the southern Philippines, police
said on Thursday. Four died and six were wounded in the brazen
The al-Qaida-linked militants apparently were trying to
divert government troops from a weekslong offensive in a
nearby town, said Antonio Mendoza, police chief for the island
province of Basilan.
Most of the victims were commuters in a passenger jeep
going home from Basilan`s capital of Isabela City. The
attackers were positioned on a hill and opened fire with
rifles. Two passengers died instantly and others jumped from
the jeep to flee, Mendoza said.
"They were fired upon as they ran. One of the attackers
hacked a 10-year-old boy, who survived," Mendoza told The
"We found the bodies and survivors scattered outside the
jeep. It`s sad, these outlaws don`t have any regard for life."
The attackers fled toward a mountainous jungle, where
troops were hunting them, regional military commander Lt. Gen.
Benjamin Dolorfino said.
The mid-afternoon attack in sparsely-populated Maluso
village is the latest violence blamed on the Abu Sayyaf and
its allied armed groups on Basilan, a predominantly Muslim
island about 550 miles south of Manila.