FOUR Abu Sayyaf bandits and three soldiers were killed while 33 others were wounded as the government troops overrun a bandit lair after an intense fighting in Sulu, officials disclosed.
Colonel Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, disclosed the firefight ensued around 11 a.m. Friday, April 5, in Sitio Atol in the village of Latih, Patikul, Sulu.
Besana said the troops of the Army’s 5th Scout Ranger Battalion were on combat operation when they clashed against the Abu Sayyaf bandits under Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.
Besana said the firefight resulted to the death of four Abu Sayyaf bandits and three soldiers. The Abu Sayyaf bandits fled.
He disclosed that of the 33 wounded, 22 were soldiers and the remaining 11 Abu Sayyaf bandits.
He said the captured Abu Sayyaf lair has 37 fighting positions believed to have been occupied by 80 bandits.
He said that nine of the 22 wounded soldiers were airlifted to Camp Navarro General Hospital in this city while the remaining 13 who were slightly injured are recuperating at Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in the village of Bus-bus, Jolo, Sulu.
Eight of those who incurred slight wounds were discharged from the hospital Friday.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, Westmincom chief, condoled with the families of the slain soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
“We shall never forget the gallantry, sacrifice, and selfless service of our fallen comrades, who fought hard to bring security and development in Sulu. In our continuing campaign to quell terrorism, we shall always be guided by our sincerity, integrity, and fervor,” Dela Vega said.
He said the troops remain resilient in confronting security challenges in Sulu, and commit to intensify the tactical operations to hunt and crush Abu Sayyaf bandits. (SunStar Philippines)