ZAMBOANGA CITY – Two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) brigands, including an explosive expert, were killed while six others were wounded in a three-hour clash with the military in the hinterlands of Basilan province on Good Friday.
Also wounded in the incident were seven government troops — five soldiers and two militiamen. They were taken to Camp Navarro General Hospital in this city and are now in stable condition.
Maj. Filemon Tan, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, said the clash broke out at 7:55 a.m. in Sitio Luglugi, Barangay Macalang, Al-Barka, Basilan.
Tan said the slain ASG explosive expert was identified as Eric Ajibon, who is also a sub-leader, and the other one was only known as a certain Abu Ayan. Their remains are in the custody of the police for proper disposition.
Tan said Ajibon was responsible in the series of bombings against the government forces and business establishments in Basilan province.
According to Tan, the clash ensued after the residents reported to the Army’s 4th Special Forces Battalion the presence of around 40 ASG brigands led by Isnilon Hapilon in Sitio Luglugi, Barangay Macalang, Al-Barka.
Tan said they received intelligence report that six followers of Hapilon were wounded during the clash and were dragged by their fleeing comrades.
He said the troops recovered war materiel and personal belongings at the clash site. PNA/northboundasia.com