[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Thursday, 28 December 2006, 05:00 GMT
Body may be key Philippine rebel
Troops in the southern Philippines (file photo)
Troops launched an offensive against rebels on Jolo in August
DNA tests are being carried out in the Philippines on the body of a man suspected to be the leader of a militant group linked to al-Qaeda.

Khaddafy Janjalani, head of Abu Sayyaf, is on a US terrorist list and carries a reward of $5m. He is wanted for killings, bombings and kidnappings.

The Philippine military had been led to the body, in a grave in a remote part of the southern Jolo Island.

The army believed it killed Mr Janjalani in a clash in September.

However, previous reports of his death have proved unfounded.

Abu Sayyaf is the smallest of four Muslim rebel groups in the Philippines, with about 400 members.

It is blamed for kidnappings and bombings, including an attack on a ferry in 2004 that killed more than 100 people.

August offensive

The grave was located near the town of Patikul on Jolo, the army said.

Map showing Jolo island

Samples are being brought to the capital, Manila, for DNA testing. US forces in the south will do separate tests.

The Philippine army said captured rebels had led them to the grave. The captives said Mr Janjalani had been shot in the neck in an exchange with marines.

Gen Hermogenes Esperon said: "If we get confirmation that it is indeed Janjalani, this is a big point in our fight against terrorism."

Mr Janjalani is the younger brother of Abu Sayyaf founder Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani, who was killed on the island of Basilan in 1998.

Philippine troops backed by the US began an offensive on Jolo in August this year to capture Mr Janjalani and Indonesian terrorism suspects Dulmatin and Umar Patek.

The latter two are suspected of involvement in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.

They allegedly belong to Jemaah Islamiah, a regional Islamic network with links to al-Qaeda.


SEE ALSO
New violence in south Philippines
04 Sep 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Two dead in Philippines fighting
23 Aug 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Philippines troops in Jolo clash
01 Aug 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Battle rages on Philippine island
13 Feb 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Guide to the Philippines conflict
10 Feb 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: The Philippines
03 Jan 06 |  Country profiles

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific