TWO Abu Sayyaf bandits died in a firefight as the focused military operations (FMO) against the bandits continues in the province of Sulu.
Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task force Sulu commander, said the clash took place around 7 a.m., Wednesday, May 17, in the village of Sandah, Patikul, Sulu.
Sobejana said the troops from the Army’s 10th Infantry Battalion were on combat operation when they clashed against a group of 15 Abu Sayyaf bandits.
Sobejana said the firefight lasted for about 15 minutes that resulted to the death of two Abu Sayyaf bandits and zero casualty on the government side.
He said the troops recovered the remains of the slain bandits and three M-16 Armalite rifles. The remains were turned over to the village officials for proper identification and burial.
Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) information officer, said the death of the two brought to 81 the death toll of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) since the FMO started last January.
Petinglay said that 50 bandits have also surrendered, 18 arrested and 70 high powered firearms were seized from the ASG.
“My standing order to JTF Sulu Commander is to flush out the Abu Sayyaf from their comfort zones and bring them to places where they are vulnerable,” said Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr, commander of the Wesmincom.
“This is exactly what is happening in Sulu and in other provinces confronting Abu Sayyaf threat,” Galvez added. (SunStar Philippines)