MANILA — Eighteen soldiers and five Muslim radical Abu Sayyaf guerrillas, including a Moroccan national, were killed in a fresh upsurge of violence in the troubled southern Philippines, a military spokesman said Sunday.
At least four of the soldiers were beheaded in the clash with about a hundred Abu Sayyaf fighters Saturday on the strife-torn island of Basilan, regional military spokesman Major Filemon Tan said.
“This is part of the military operations against the Abu Sayyaf,” launched after a series of abductions of foreigners, he told reporters.
The clash came shortly after a retired Italian priest being held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf was freed on Friday.
The Abu Sayyaf is a small group of militants known for kidnapping foreigners and demanding huge ransoms. Eighteen other foreign hostages are being held in the Philippines, most or all of them thought to be in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf.
The group was established in the early 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden`s Al Qaeda network.
Its leaders have in recent years pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group that controls vast swathes of Iraq and Syria.
Sleeping in on weekends may help live longer
Sleep deprivation has been found to have numerous negative effects on a person’s health. But the new study has shown that sleeping more on the weekend might help ease health problems associated with not getting enough during the week, and even reduce the risk of an early death.
The study, published in Journal of Sleep Research by scientists from Sweden and the United States, suggested that the negative effects of a few nights of short sleep could be counteracted by staying in bed over the weekend.
The from the Stress Research Institute (SRI) at Stockholm University and the Karolinska Institute discovered that people below 65 years old who slept less than five hours on weekends had a higher risk of early death after examining medical and lifestyle data from more than 43,000 adults, following them for a period of 13 years.
For people who slept for less than five hours throughout the week but slept longer on the weekends for about nine hours, there was no increase in mortality risk. But, for people who consistently slept for less than five hours through the whole week, the mortality risk is higher.
Torbjorn Akerstedt, one of the authors of the research and a clinical neuroscience professor from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said that the findings were consistent with previous studies on the link between sleep duration and mortality.
However, those previous studies only focused on sleep during weekdays.
“The results imply that short sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep,” the researchers wrote in the study.Follow @gorkhapost