Best Defense

Pretty big fight on Basilan

In a nine-hour battle over the weekend with Islamic rebels on the island of Basilan, some 18 Filipino soldiers were killed and another 52 were wounded.

A Philippine military helicopter loaded with body bags containing bodies of soldiers killed in a clash with members of Abu Sayyaf group, prepares to take off at a military base in Patikul town, Sulu province, in southern island of Mindanao on May 25, 2013. Twelve people were killed in the Philippines on May 25, as troops clashed with a militant group blamed for the country's deadliest terror attacks, the military said.   AFP PHOTO        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A Philippine military helicopter loaded with body bags containing bodies of soldiers killed in a clash with members of Abu Sayyaf group, prepares to take off at a military base in Patikul town, Sulu province, in southern island of Mindanao on May 25, 2013. Twelve people were killed in the Philippines on May 25, as troops clashed with a militant group blamed for the country's deadliest terror attacks, the military said. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

 

In a nine-hour battle over the weekend with Islamic rebels on the island of Basilan, some 18 Filipino soldiers were killed and another 52 were wounded. The Abu Sayyaf got off lightly with just four killed.

Photo credit: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. @tomricks1

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