Shoot-Out in the Jungle

Philippine troops launch a rescue raid that ends with two dead hostages, including an American missionary

The heavy rains that suddenly fell in the dense tropical forest created a moment of hope. The 15th Scout Company of the Armed Forces of the Philippines sensed an opportunity to strike at its elusive prey: Abu Sayyaf, the kidnapping gang that once formed part of Osama bin Laden's terrorism network. When the deluge began on Mindanao Island, the 30-odd bandits stopped to put up makeshift tarps for themselves and their three hostages--a Filipina nurse and an American couple, Martin and Gracia Burnham. The soldiers were already close by, having followed a trail of discarded coconut meat and jackfruits that, they...

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