On January 30, flags were flown at half mast in the Philippines after 44 members of “392-strong team” of commandos were killed in a hunt for two terror suspects.
The 44 commandos died during a “12-hour firefight with two Muslim rebel groups.”
According to CNN, the two terror suspects were bomb makers Zulkifli bin Hir and Abdul Basit Usman. Zulkifli was “also known as Marwan.” He was being sought in connection with “the 2002 Bali bombings” and had “a $5 million US government bounty on his head.” Authorities believe he was killed in the firefight.
Usman is believed to have survived and escaped.
The BBC reported that the October 12, 20o2 Bali bombings “consisted of two bombs [which] ripped through the Indonesian tourist island,” killing 2o2 people from various countries. CNN reported that “a third, smaller bomb, was detonated…outside the US consulate but it caused no injuries.”
The 44 commandos killed in the firefight were “members of the police’s elite Special Action Force (SAF) unit.”
Philippine president Benigno Aquino III delivered the eulogy for them:
Our 44 fallen heroes from our police force, the youngest at 26 and the most senior at 39 years old, pushed themselves and exerted all their effort to do what they could, not only for themselves and their families, but for our beloved country. They gave up their lives for the kind of peace and order that endures.
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