MANILA: An extremist has been killed in fighting between soldiers and Abu Sayyaf rebels in the southern Philippines, a day after 12 people died in a similar shootout, the military said yesterday.
Troops in the strife-torn island of Jolo were on patrol when they clashed with the Islamist guerrillas on Saturday, said military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Romeo Zagala.
Intelligence reports indicated that at least three Abu Sayyaf fighters were wounded in the clash, he added.
Government forces on Friday launched an operation in Basilan island, another southern stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf, to capture two top leaders of the Al-Qaeda-linked group which is accused of beheadings and kidnappings.
They failed to apprehend either Puruji Indama or Isnilon Hapilon.
Seven Abu Sayyaf fighters, two soldiers and three members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighting on the side of the Philippine military were killed in Friday’s violence.
Zagala said Saturday’s clashes in Jolo were not related to the operation to capture the two chiefs.
Japan orders chicken cull after bird flu outbreak
TOKYO: Japan has ordered the slaughter of some 112,000 chickens after officials confirmed yesterday bird flu infections at a poultry farm in the south.
DNA tests confirmed the H5 strain of the virus at a farm in Kumamoto prefecture that kept 56,000 birds, after its owner reported Saturday a lot of sudden deaths among his poultry, the agriculture ministry said in a statement.
Officials also ordered the culling of another 56,000 birds at a separate farm run by the same owner after treating it as a location of possible infections, the ministry said. It was the first confirmed outbreak of bird flu in Japan in three years.
The ministry has however been warning farmers about infection risks, citing the continued spread of the disease in Asia, including neighbouring South Korea.
Local authorities on Saturday banned movement of chickens from the two affected farms as well as other farms in their vicinities.