1 dead as troops, kidnap group clash

A SUSPECTED kidnap-for-ransom-group member was killed while a soldier was wounded in a firefight Monday dawn, March 18, in the province of Zamboanga del Norte.

Lieutenant Colonel Leon Onggao, Army’s 42nd Infantry Battalion commander, said the firefight broke out around 5 a.m. Monday in the village of Sipakit, Sirawai after a joint team of soldiers and policemen tried to serve warrants of arrest against Juhuri Wahab Tukalan and Isnain Yacub, alleged members of the Jamilon Takalan Group.

The group is suspected of being behind kidnapping and extortion activities as well as ambuscades against civilians in Sipakit, Sirawai.

“Our troops together with the PNP (Philippine National Police) were serving warrants of arrest for murder and attempted murder case against Juhuri Wahab Tukalan and Isnain Yacub when the clash happened,” he added.

He said the firefight lasted for about two hours. The fatality was identified as Ato Anto Lumingis, an alleged member of the group.

Other members of the group, some of whom were wounded, scampered to different directions.

He said the troops have recovered two ammunition of rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers, two 12-gauge shotguns, two improvised caliber .22, one grenade, magazines and various ammunition, bandolier and assorted fatigue uniforms.

The wounded soldier, who belong to the Army’s 42nd Infantry Battalion, was airlifted to a hospital in Zamboanga City. (SunStar Philippines)


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