By Agence France-Presse, Updated: 3/28/2010

Philippine soldiers seize Abu Sayyaf camp

Philippine soldiers have seized a camp operated by Al-Qaeda-linked Muslim extremists in the restive south of the countryrn, killing one militant, the military said Sunday.

Troops backed by artillery and helicopter gunships overran a camp run by a top Abu Sayyaf commander Radullan Sahiron on the island of Jolo on Friday, a military statement said.

Two soldiers were wounded in the protracted gunbattle while one Abu Sayyaf gunmen was killed and an undetermined number wounded, it said, adding that a cache of shells, ammunition and an improvised explosive device were seized.

However, the military made no mention of the fate of Sahiron, one of the most senior commanders in the Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim extremist group blamed for the worst terror attacks in Philippine history.

The US government is offering a million dollar reward for the capture of Sahiron, a one-armed veteran of Muslim guerrilla wars in the south.

Founded in the early 1990s with money from Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the Abu Sayyaf is blamed for a series of bombings and kidnappings that have targeted foreign missionaries, Christians and US military advisers.

Although the Abu Sayyaf is estimated to number fewer than 400 members, security officials have warned that they are growing more active and experienced in the use of improvised bombs similar to those used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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