MANILA – Three members of the Abu Sayyaf local terrorist group were killed in an encounter Saturday in Sulu Province, as troops of the Joint Task Force Sulu continue to besiege the lairs of ASG remnants, the Western Mindanao Command said in a report.
Soldiers of the 21st Infantry Battalion headed by Major Christopher Genzola engaged in an hour-long fierce firefight with heavily armed ASG under Almujer Yaddah at Sitio Darayan at the boundary of Barangay Danag and Barangay Buhanginan, both of Patikul, Sulu at 8:45 a.m. Saturday.
One soldier was killed in the clash.
During clearing operations, troops recovered one unidentified body of the enemy from the encounter site.
“Our operating troops were also able to see the bandits dragging two bodies of their companions who appeared to be already lifeless,” said Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, Commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu.
Troops were acting upon information initially taken from the two recovered kidnap victims Friday afternoon in Daang Puti, Patikul, Sulu.
Rocabo and Leones specifically pinpointed the locations of the targetted Abu Sayyaf group who were keeping captive other kidnap victims, including some Vietnamese crewmen. The ASG last week beheaded two of their Vietnamese captives.
“As we speak, skirmishes are still ongoing as our troops are going after the tracks of the withdrawing bandits,” said BGen Sobejana.
“The soldiers are very careful in their movements since it is believed that the Abu Syayaf group is still carrying with them around 6 to 7 kidnap victims.
“During the course of encounter, one soldier died and 15 others were slightly wounded. All WIA [wounded in action] were safely evacuated and are already being treated at the Kamp Teofilo Busbos Hospital in Jolo, Sulu, while the body of the dead soldier was brought to the military mortuary in the JTF Sulu headquarters,” Sobejana said.
“The family of the fallen soldier will immediately be notified and will receive all compensations due to the family of a hero.
“Forces of the JTF Sulu are in still in the area pursuing the bandits who left several blood stains on their tracks. We will continue pressing them on until these terrorists are all neutralized and the KVs rescued,” said Sobejana.