In June this year, Abu Sayyaf commander Khair Mundos, who was arrested by police near Manila's international airport, confirmed during interrogations the presence of the wanted Southeast Asian militants in the camps of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Abu Sayyaf Group
But he also met up with members of the Abu Sayyaf Group
, whose members took part in the Afghanistan conflict in the eighties, and was established in the southern Philippines in the 80s with the help of the brother-in-law of Osama Bin Laden, the late head of Al Qaida, Banas said.
In the 1990s, the Philippine government allowed US troops to extend intelligence assistance to Filipino soldiers tasked to tackle the Abu Sayyaf Group
in the south.
Eugenio Vagni, an Italian national who is being held by members of the Abu Sayyaf group
on Jolo island, has been transferred by the group to another unit.
State Department has listed the Abu Sayyaf group
as a ''foreign terrorist organization'' owing to their alleged links with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.
They fought with government soldiers who clashed with members of the Al Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf Group
at the boundary of Tipo-Tipo and Unkaya Pukan towns on Basilan Island on Friday, Philippine Army's regional spokesman Captain Jefferson Mamauag said in a final report of the incident, which reached Manila's military headquarters.
But another hostage, 62-year-old Eugenio Vagni, is still being held by the armed Abu Sayyaf group
Post-blast investigations have been widened to include all possibilities, although the Abu Sayyaf group
has claimed the bombings, Philippine National Police Chief Edgardo Aglipay said.
The dead were members of the Abu Sayyaf Group
-- led by Sihata Latip and Abbraham Hammid -- who encountered members of the Philippine marines in Mabahay village Talipao town, Jolo Island last Saturday, Colonel Jojo Cenabre, marine brigade head, said on Monday.
The Philippines authorities and Red Cross officials have been trying to re-establish contact with members of the Abu Sayyaf group
, with the hope of negotiating the release of three hostages.
government representatives on Monday handed reward money totaling $1 million to three Filipinos who helped authorities track down and kill a senior leader of the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf group
Philippine troops have begun advancing towards a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf group
that has threatened to behead one of three aid workers it is holding hostage.
A court on Friday sentenced 17 suspected members of radical Muslim Abu Sayyaf group
to death for kidnapping four people, including three nurses, from a hospital in the southern Philippines three years ago.
Frederick Banot and Cherden Masong, who teach at the Charity Children Foundation Inc, (CCFI), a church-based and non-government organisation (NGO), were abducted by suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group
who entered the school's staff house in coastal Lantawan town, Basilan province late on Wednesday night, Senior Superintendent Mario Dapillosa, Basilan provincial police director, said in a report that reached Manila.
The Philippine government has said it is confident three workers for the International Committee for the Red Cross held by the Abu Sayyaf group
, are alive, a day after a deadline to behead one of the captives expired.