The Islamic State of Iraq’s Philippine arm, Abu Sayyaf, attacked Maluso town in Basilan province according to police in Basilan.
Killed in the attack were residents Radzma Arakani, Radsma Hassan, Carmina dela Cruz, Ajid Aminulla, Ryan Joplo, Baby Arakanu, Andok Haikin Kato and 13-year-old Mark Tan Jalad; and militiaman Reynaldo Esparcia.
Later, when retreating from Maluso, Abu Sayyaf beheaded retired Philippine soldier master sergeant Julio Macaraig Pasawa, a Muslim convert.
“Perhaps the Abu Sayyaf group had discovered the victim to be a former soldier and prompted to seize him,” said Col. Juvymax Uy, commander of Joint Task Force Basilan.
While the area is heavily Muslim, the local officials tend to be Catholics, although Muslims and Christians enjoy good relations.
The Philippines has long had a strong Muslim separatist movement in Mindanao, dating prior to the occupation of the Philippines by the USA.