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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 April, 2004, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
Abu Sayyaf leader killed
The armed forces in the Philippines say they have killed one of the five leading members of the Abu Sayyaf - an armed group of Filipino Muslims notorious for kidnapping hostages.

The army says the man, Hamsiraji Sali, was killed during an exchange of fire with an elite unit who cornered him in a village on the southern island of Basilan.

Some other members of the group were also killed and four soldiers wounded.

The US had offered a reward of $1m for the capture of Sali who was wanted for his alleged part in kidnapping three Americans in the Philippines nearly three years ago.

Two of the Americans were killed while in captivity.

Although the Abu Sayyef's main occupation is kidnapping for ransom, the United States says it regards them as terrorists because of their past links with Osama bin Laden.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service



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