Freed kidnapped Australian adventurer Warren Rodwell is escorted  by U.S. soldiers. Freed kidnapped Australian adventurer Warren Rodwell is escorted by U.S. soldiers. Photo: Philippine military

Philippine troops have attacked a jungle hideout of Islamic terrorists who kidnapped Australian adventurer Warren Rodwell, killing at least six people.
Army Colonel Rolando Gregorio, a spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command, said security forces stormed a Basilan island hideout of Abu Sayyaf leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Puruji Idama and captured their encampment after a fierce firefight.
He said three soldiers were wounded but it was not immediately known whether Hapilon or Idama were killed or wounded in the fighting.
Idama received the equivalent of $94,600 to free Mr Rodwell on March 2 after the Sydney man had spent almost 15 months in captivity.
Frail and emaciated when he was freed, Mr Rodwell is recuperating in Queensland, where he is believed to be considering television requests to sell the story of his horrific ordeal.
Idama is a ruthless criminal known for beheading victims.
He had threatened to execute Mr Rodwell only days before the ransom was paid by the family of his Filipino wife Miraflor Gutang.
However claims by Ms Gutang that she sold the family home to raise the ransom have been found to be incorrect, raising speculation the money came from an Australian source.
The Australian and Philippine governments have policies of not paying ransoms, so to deter other kidnappings.
Colonel Gregorio told journalists the operation was directed at the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf and not fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the largest Muslim group in the southern Philippines. That group had claimed its men had been targeted.
"We would like to emphasise that the operation was conducted and directed only against the Abu Sayaaf terrorists with utmost consideration on the safety of MILF communities in the operational area," Colonel Gregorio said, adding that operations were continuing in the area.
The MILF, which is negotiating peace with Manila, said security forces raided a rebel stronghold in a violation of the ceasefire accord.
"The Philippine Army raided the forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front early morning today at Sitio Badja Maluha in Barangay Baguindan in Tipo-Tipo and MILF suffered scores of casualties," the rebel group said.
Abbas Salung, a senior member of the MILF ceasefire committee, has strongly denied the military's claim, saying the operation targeted their forces.
"The MILF-CCCH [Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities] and [the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group] were never co-ordinated by the government of the movements or any activity of the government forces in Baguindan, which is a known MILF community."
Mr Salung blamed the military for the violence in Basilan, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.
"Clearly there is a deliberate act to undermine the ceasefire and the peace talks between the Aquino government and the MILF, which only compounds the increasing doubts of the public over the sincerity of the government in the peace process," he quoted Sapanton as saying after the fighting stopped.
He said the MILF would file a protest with the government ceasefire committee against the military for violating the truce.
"The encounter had already ceased, but actions must be undertaken by the government to avoid recurrence of the firefight between the government and MILF forces and to prove that the government forces are indeed upholding the policy of the Aquino government for the primacy of the peace process," Mr Salung said.
The military offensive came just as the MILF expressed concerns over so-called "spoilers" of the peace process.
"The sad part of this is the fact that spoilers do not only thrive outside the process. There are those who lurk within organisation or government. They pretend to be on board the process, but truth is that they have their own agenda, contrary to the desired end state for the process, or more insensibly, undermining their principal's official instruction," the MILF said, adding peace negotiators must be vigilant in not allowing "moles" in their ranks.
Peace negotiators in October signed the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement, which shall replace the Muslim autonomous region plan.