22 soldiers wounded in Philippines bombing

April 10, 2012
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ISABELA, Philippines – A powerful booby trap bomb wounded 22 soldiers, seven of them critically, as they patrolled a former stronghold of al-Qaeda-linked militants Tuesday (April 10th), local army commander Colonel Ricardo Visaya told AFP.

The soldiers were patrolling the outskirts of a remote camp captured last month from Abu Sayyaf extremists when the device went off. The Abu Sayyaf had formerly used the camp on the southern island of Basilan to hide many of their kidnap victims until a large military assault dislodged the rebels in March, Visaya said.

Helicopters were deployed to airlift the wounded to a military hospital, Visaya said.

The group has been blamed for the worst terror attacks in Philippines history and has frequently resorted to kidnapping to raise funds, often targeting foreigners.

Seven foreigners -- a Dutchman, a Swiss national, an Australian, two Malaysian traders, an Indian and a Japanese man -- are believed to still be held by the Abu Sayyaf and other outlawed groups in the south.

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A woman reacts outside Jakarta's Ritz-Carlton hotel on July 17th, 2009 after bomb blasts tore through it and the nearby JW Marriott. Two suspected Jemaah Islamiyah suicide bombers killed at least six people and injured more than 40 others. [Arif Ariadi/AFP]

The Global Terror Threat: Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia has been both a source and a target of global terrorism. Al-Qaeda affiliates Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia and Malaysia and Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines are among regional groups that terrorise their home countries with bombings, ambushes,