SEVEN people were killed in a clash on Thursday, August 10, as the government forces continue its operations to rescue the kidnap victims in the province of Sulu.
Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, Jr., Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said the clash took place around 4 a.m., Thursday, at Sitio Langhub in the village of Pang, Kalingalan Caluang town.
Sobejana said the clash ensued when the troops chanced upon around 30 heavily armed Abu Sayyaf bandits while they were conducting security and rescue operations.
Sobejana said the clash resulted to the death of two soldiers and five members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
He withheld the identities of the two soldiers which belong to the Philippine Marine Corps.
He said the troops recovered at the clash site seven high-powered firearms. These included one caliber .50 Baret rifle, one KG-9 sub-machine gun, two M-16 Armalite rifles, an M-14 rifle, a caliber .30 M1 Garand rifle, and a shotgun.
The clash occurred a day after the photographs of four Zamboangueño kidnap victims appeared on social media page together with their Abu Sayyaf captors.
The Abu Sayyaf threatened the kill them if their P3 million ransom demand in exchange for the release of the hostages will not be met.
The deadline has been set on Thursday, August 10.
The four workers were among the five persons the Abu Sayyaf bandits seized from a school on July 15 in the village of Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu.
One of the five managed to escape from captivity hours after they were kidnapped.
Aside from the four, the Abu Sayyaf bandits are also holding captives more than 20 hostages most of whom are foreigners. (SunStar Philippines)