AN ABU Sayyaf bandit was killed in a clash with government troops in the island province of Sulu, a military official announced Tuesday.

First Lieutenant Steffani Cacho, Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) information officer, said the clash took place around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in the village of Bungkaong, Patikul, Sulu.

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Cacho said the slain bandit, who is a follower of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Basarun Arok (not Ahaduk as earlier reported), remain unidentified. His body was recovered by the troops.

Cacho said the troops are pursuing Arok’s group that fled towards the hinterlands of Patikul.

The clash took place two days after the government forces attacked an Abu Sayyaf camp that resulted in the death of six people, including two bandit leaders and four followers.

Killed in last Sunday's attack were Albader Parad and Abdulhaman Jumdail, the younger brother of Umbra Jumdail alias Dr. Abu Pula.

The four slain Abu Sayyaf followers were identified as Omar Umbah alias Ben Kuting, Hamilton Sadjael, Udin Sereal, and Simal Abtong, a nephew of Dr. Abu Pula.

“This (Tuesday's clash) is still part of the pursuit operations against the ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) following the encounter at Karawan, Indanan,” Cacho said.

Brigadier General Rustico Guerrero, chief of the Sulu-based Joint Task Force Comet (JTFC), said the significant success in the government's anti-terror campaign was a result of months of intelligence surveillance.

Guerrero said Arok's group was responsible in the kidnapping and beheading of Gabriel Canizares, the school principal of Kanague Elementary School in Patikul, Sulu.

Canizares was kidnapped in October 2009 and was beheaded by the Abu Sayya bandits on November 9 of the same year.