18 KILLED IN MILITARY, ASG CLASH IN BASILAN

MANILA — Three soldiers were killed along with 15 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits following a two-day operation against the brigands in Barangay Macalang, Al-Barka, Basilan.

The operation which took place Monday until Tuesday, was aimed at reducing the ASG presence in the area.

Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Major Filemon Tan said 10 troopers were also hurt while another seven of the bandits were wounded.

ASG casualty reports are based on intelligence reports, adding that these figures are as of 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Tan did not give the names of the dead and wounded soldiers pending notification of their next-of-kin.

Western Mindanao Command units involved in the two-day offensive include troopers from the 104th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion, 4th Special Forces Battalion, Marine Special Operations Group, and 12th Light Armor Cavalry. PNA