ZAMBOANGA CITY – Six Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits were killed while eight soldiers wounded after a firefight broke out anew in the military’s continuing offensives in the province of Sulu, officials said Thursday.
Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said the firefight broke out around 6 p.m. Wednesday in Barangay Latih, Patikul, Sulu.
Sobejana said the 34-minute clash ensued as the troops chanced upon a group of Abu Sayyaf bandits while conducting combat operation.
Government troops recovered the remains of the three slain bandits following the encounter, he said, identifying them as Guro Khalid, Udal Muhamadar Said, and a certain Budah.
Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said three more ASG followers were killed while several others wounded based on the reports of the community.
Sobejana and Vinluan were unable to release the identities of the wounded soldiers, except to say they belong to the Army’s 45th Infantry Battalion.
The wounded soldiers were immediately rushed to Camp Gen. Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Jolo, Sulu, and later airlifted to Camp Navarro General Hospital in this city.
The troops launched an “all-out offensive” against the ASG bandits after the April 17 firefight that resulted in the death of 12 soldiers and the wounding of 12 others in Sitio Bud Lubong, Barangay Danag, Patikul.
Maj. John Arvin Encinas, Westmincom spokesperson, said the troops have already recovered the personal belongings of the troops killed in the April 17 clash.
“We are sustaining our focused military operations in Sulu to finish the Abu sayyaf Group and bring about peace in the said province,” Sobejana said. Teofilo Garcia, Jr /PNA – northboundasia.com