AN ABU Sayyaf member involved in the illegal drug trade was killed while five soldiers were wounded in a clash in Basilan province on Friday, July 7.
Joint Task Force Basilan Commander Juvymax Uy said the clash occurred around 7:30 a.m. Friday in Sitio Block 41 in the village of Bohe Pahuh, Ungkaya Pukan.
"The troops were conducting reconnaissance in response to the reported presence of Abu Sayyaf members in the area of engagement. Upon sensing the movement of the troops, the bandits initiated the armed confrontation," Uy said.
Ungkaya Pukan Vice Mayor Joel Maturan identified the slain bandit as Tules Pangamdas.
Uy said that Pangambas belongs to the group of Nawapi Abdul alias Abu Khatan, while the five injured soldiers are members of the Army's 18th Infantry Battalion.
Maturan said Pangamdas utilizes the proceeds from his illegal drug activities to finance the operations of the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan.
The troops recovered two firearms -- an M2 Carbine and M-79 grenade launcher -- and drug paraphernalia.
Uy said the offensive against the Abu Sayyaf group in Basilan continues. (SunStar Philippines)