THREE Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed in a firefight that broke out as military offensive against them continues in an island in the province of Sulu, military officials said Monday.
Colonel Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, said the latest firefight happened at 7:58 a.m. Monday, March 25, in Simusa Island, Banguingui, Sulu.
Besana said the troops from the Marine Battalion Landing Team-3 (MBLT-3) were on combat patrol when they clashed with Abu Sayyaf bandits led by sub-leader Najir Arik.
Besana said the firefight lasted for five minutes that resulted in the death of three Abu Sayyaf bandits. The troops suffered no casualty.
He said an intermittent firefight ensued at 8:05 a.m. and lasted for about 20 minutes as the MBLT-1 troops caught the fleeing remaining Abu Sayyaf bandits several hundred meters away from the first clash site.
The military official said no casualty was reported on the government side while on the enemy side it is yet to be determined as clearing operation continues.
The clash on Monday between the Marine troops and Abu Sayyaf bandits in Simusa Island was the second that happened within a period of one week.
An Abu Sayyaf bandit was killed while another was captured following a firefight last week in Simusa Island.
Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, Westmincom chief, said the Joint Task Force Sulu continues to intensify the conduct of offensives against the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu.
“We are certain that all measures are now being undertaken, in accordance with the rules of engagement,” Dela Vega added. (SunStar Philippines)