Philippines insurgents botch bloody raid

Elite U.S.-trained Philippine army scout rangers arrive fully armed with heavy weapons to support the 5,000 soldiers combating Muslim insurgents in the island nation's south.</p>

Elite U.S.-trained Philippine army scout rangers arrive fully armed with heavy weapons to support the 5,000 soldiers combating Muslim insurgents in the island nation's south.

Just weeks after one of the Philippines' most lethal Islamic militias negotiates peace with the government, yet another rebel group stages a bloody raid on an marines outpost.

An estimated 18 are dead after the rebels, an al-Qaeda-linked outfit called Abu Sayyaf, sent 50 men to attack a remote base in Sulu province, reported the Philippine Star.

They weren't very successful. After the two-hour firefight commended, 13 Islamic militants were dead. Only two marines were killed, as were two civilians.

Abu Sayyaf, believed to have received start-up funds from Osama bin Laden's relatives, proclaims Islamic rhetoric while indulging in straight-up gang activity: kidnapping, extortion and ransom demands.

The outfit is much smaller than the Philippines' largest armed Islamic militia, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has recently attempted to negotiate peace with the government.