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Philippines Captures Top Qaida-Linked Militant

Philippine authorities have arrested a founding member of the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf group blamed for some of the worst terror attacks in the region, security officials said on Sunday.

Ustadz Ahmadsali Asmad Badron, also known as Ammad or Hamad Ustadz Idris, was arrested on Saturday in the remote Tawi-Tawi islands in the southern Philippines.

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6 Dead, 22 Wounded in Southern Philippine Ambush

Gunmen suspected to be Islamic militants ambushed a convoy carrying farm workers in the southern Philippines Wednesday, killing six and wounding 22 others, the army said.

The four-vehicle convoy, which also carried armed security escorts from a government militia, was on its way to a remote rubber plantation when it was attacked, Army spokesman Major Harold Cabunoc said.

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Al-Arabiya TV Crew Missing on Philippine Kidnap Island

A three-man news team for the Dubai-based al-Arabiya network, including a Jordanian man, are missing on a remote Philippine island notorious for Islamist militants and kidnappings, police said Friday.

Baker Atyani and his two Filipino crew failed to return to their hotel on Jolo island on Tuesday, provincial police chief Antonio Freyra said.

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China and Russia Hold First Navy Exercises

China and Russia on Sunday launched their first joint naval exercises amid tensions between China and its Asian neighbors over regional territorial claims.

The six days of drills are taking place in the Yellow Sea off China's east coast, the official China News Service said, adding they were the first dedicated exercises involving the two navies.

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New Purple Crab Species Found in Philippines

Four new species of freshwater crab, bright purple in color, have been discovered in the biologically diverse Philippines, according to a scientific paper.

The tiny crustaceans were found in streams in remote areas of the Palawan island group, according to a team led by Hendrik Freitag, of Germany's Senckenberg Museum of Zoology.

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Two Dead, 5 Wounded in Southern Philippine Bus Bombing

Two people were killed and five others were wounded when a bomb exploded on a bus in the southern Philippines on Wednesday, the regional military commander said.

The explosion occurred as the bus was pulling into a terminal in Carmen, a town on the restive island of Mindanao that is home to a long-running Muslim insurgency, Lieutenant Colonel Benjie Hao told reporters.

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Bomb in Philippines Kills 1, Wounds 27 Soldiers

A powerful booby trap bomb killed one Philippine soldier and wounded 27 others as they patrolled a former stronghold of al-Qaida-linked militants on Tuesday, the military said.

The soldiers were patrolling the outskirts of a remote camp captured last month from Abu Sayyaf extremists when the device went off, local army commander Colonel Ricardo Visaya told Agence France Presse.

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Gunmen Storm Philippine Jail to Rescue Detainee, 3 Killed

Dozens of black-clad gunmen armed with grenades and bombs stormed a southern Philippine jail trying to free a detained comrade, but they were repulsed by police in a chaotic night battle that killed three people, officials said Monday.

Fifteen people were wounded, most of them civilians caught in the firefight late Sunday outside Kidapawan's city hall compound and along a key commercial road. Military and police officials blamed former members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, but a spokesman for the Muslim rebel group denied the claim.

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Death Toll in Philippine Quake Rises to 39

The death toll from a strong quake this week in the central Philippines rose to 39 on Friday, with dozens of missing feared dead, a disaster official said.

Rescuers recovered five bodies in the landslide-hit central island of Negros four days after it was rattled by a 6.7-magnitude quake that flattened homes, destroyed bridges and crumbled mountainsides.

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Hopes Fade for Scores Buried in Landslides Caused by Philippines Quake

Philippine rescue officials said Wednesday they are losing hope of finding anyone alive among 71 people still buried in landslides set off by a powerful earthquake. So far, 26 bodies have been recovered and identified.

President Benigno Aquino III flew to the disaster area in central Negros Oriental province and gave orders to speed up the reconstruction of roads and bridges that collapsed when the magnitude-6.9 quake struck Monday.

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