THE Abu Sayyaf bandits tried but failed to disrupt a medical mission conducted by the military by firing three rounds of 60 millimeter mortar shells in one of the towns in Sulu.
Colonel Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, said the mortar shelling happened around 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Barangay Tanum, Patikul, Sulu.
There was no reported casualty, the military said.
The three mortar shells exploded some 200 hundred meters away from the Tanum Elementary School where the medical mission was held.
Besana said the troops estimated the mortar shells were fired some 500 meters east from the school and “was believed to be initiated by the Abu Sayyaf bandits to intimidate the residents from availing the free medical services.”
He said the medical mission continued despite the incident and have benefitted some 2,000 residents from the villages of Tanum, Sandah, Patikul Higad, and Kadday Mampallam in the town of Patikul.
The medical mission was initiated by the Army’s 6th Special Forces Battalion in partnership with different government agencies and non-government organizations.
Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, Westmincom chief, condemned the Abu Sayyaf bandits for initiating “the terroristic act resulting to the disruption in the delivery of basic services to the people.
“They bring nothing but destruction that greatly retards achievement of peace and development in Sulu. This is another reason why we have to unite to put end to this menace in our society,” Dela Vega added.
The Joint Task Force Sulu has deployed troops to track down the bandits.
The incident happened two days after the 6th SF troops clashed twice against the sane group in the village of Igasan, Patikul.
A soldier was killed while three others were wounded in the first clash that happened around 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
Four Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed while five others were wounded in the second clash that occurred several minutes later as the troops pursued the Abu Sayyaf bandits who fled from the site of the first firefight. (SunStar Philippines)