Sayyaf man dies in clash

ZAMBOANGA CITY — A suspected member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) involved in the trade of hard drugs was killed while five soldiers were wounded in a clash early Friday, a top military official announced.

Col. Juvymax Uy, Joint Task Force Basilan commander, said the clash occurred around 7:30 a.m. Friday in Sitio Block 41, Barangay Bohe Pahuh, Ungkaya Pukan.

Uy said the clash occurred when the troops raided the suspect’s hideout while conducting law enforcement operation.

Ungkaya Pukan Vice Mayor Joel Maturan identified the slain ASG member as Tules Pangamdas.

Uy withheld the identities of the five injured soldiers who belong to the Army’s 18th Infantry Battalion.

Maturan said Pangamdas utilizes the proceeds of his hard drugs trade to finance the operations of the ASG in Basilan province.

The troops recovered two firearms consisting of an M2 Carbine and an M-79 grenade launcher as well as hard drugs paraphernalia. Teofilo P. Garcia Jr./