World Bulletin / News Desk
Four Abu Sayyaf suspects have been arrested in the vicinity of recent clashes with goverment soldiers in the Philippines south.
A statement by army task force commander Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado said the three men and one woman were detained and interrogated in a coastal village on the island of Jolo known to be a sanctuary for the al Qaeda-linked group.
On Thursday, two soldiers were wounded on a skirmish between the army and Abu Sayyaf gunmen, following which the military moved to block off all possible escape routes.
Arrojado said army interrogators want to ascertain the suspects' true identities, adding that two of the men were claiming to be watchmen from a nearby village and that the woman had two identification cards bearing different names.
“The presence of the four suspects at the operational area -- especially near an Abu Sayyaf harbor -- considering ongoing operations... is questionable,” Arrojado said, adding that the suspects would remain in detention “until such time that their identities are validated.”
Government troops have launched operations on Jolo targeting senior leaders of the group, which has been suspected of holding foreign nationals hostage since late last month.